Controversial animal activist group Aussie Farms is taking its map — tracking farms and businesses across the country — global.
And international farming leaders have slammed the organisation’s plans, urging Australia to shut it down.
Aussie Farms executive director Chris Delforce told The Melbourne Weekly Times there was a ’need’ for the map in other countries and he was not afraid of ’hostility from foreign governments’.
“As always we believe the necessity of transparency in animal agriculture, and the rights of animals to not be abused for commercial gain, trumps any laws enacted to stymie the availability of information,” he said.
“We will deal with hostility from foreign governments if and when it arises, in the same way as we have dealt with hostility from our own.”
The map has begun listing farms and abattoirs in South East Asia, the Middle East and one cattle property in Mexico.
The UK’s peak farming body labelled the map ’invasive and really dangerous’.
NFU president Minette Batters told The Weekly Times: “We are very against this.
“The Australian (National Farmers’ Federation), of which Fiona Simson is their excellent president, should seek to stop this in Australia and we should all support stopping this going global.”
Roger Johnson, president of the second largest farming body in the US, said his National Farmers’ Union supported ’information to consumers about where and how their food was born, raised and processed, however farmers have a right to privacy and to their personal property’.
“We are concerned that this kind of project will violate both by encouraging illegal behaviour, including trespassing and animal theft,” Mr Johnson told The Weekly Times.
Aussie Farms is under investigation for compliance with Australia’s Privacy Act and new federal laws that make it illegal to use a carriage service, such as the internet, to incite trespass, are being debated in Parliament.
Mr Delforce told a Senate committee on Monday he would not pull his website down even if the laws passed.
Aussie Farms, which is a registered charity, altered its volunteer registration form in January, removing questions that could imply it supported its members breaking the law, and later added a disclaimer to the map saying it ’does not condone or encourage the use of this resource for illegal purposes including trespass’.