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All News Updates & Public Comment => Live Export News Updates => : WA Export News April 18, 2012, 10:35:45 PM

: Animal welfare protesters to target VFF conference in Bendigo. 18.4.2012
: WA Export News April 18, 2012, 10:35:45 PM
Animal welfare protesters will target the Victorian Farmers Federation annual conference in Bendigo tomorrow and Friday.

Protest group spokesperson Tracee Schifferle said the action would highlight cruel farming practices and demand an end to live export trade.

"The main protest event to be held on the Friday will be hosting an array of activities …. some of them highly unusual sending a powerful message to the conference participants. Animal Liberation Victoria will be represented along with other key animal activist groups. Vegan food will also be on offer for conference attendee’s to sample,'' Ms Schifferle said.

"Last year, ABC TV’s 4 Corner’s expose’ A Bloody Business galvanised the nation against the shocking treatment of cattle in Indonesia and the live export trade forcing the Government to temporarily suspend industry operations.

"Since then there has been a growing movement of activists who are dedicated to seeing this shocking cruelty end once and for all.

"Earlier this year, two abattoirs were also closed down in Victoria and NSW due to cruelty issues.

"A clear message will also be sent to producers and supporters of battery hen farms; those who torture pigs in sow stalls; the plight of the poor dairy cows and all other forms of factory farming."

Outgoing VFF president Andrew Broad said the protest and posts on Facebook promoting the event were an insult to farmers.

"A number of activists have been using Facebook to promote the protest during the past week and have declared the conference a 'golden opportunity to protest as they (VFF) represent all areas of cruelty to animals including meat, dairy and egg farming','' Mr Broad said.

“Farmers are leaders in animal welfare and care about their livestock.

“Our animal welfare standards and guidelines are built on science and developed in consultation with a wide section of industry including animal welfare groups such as Animals Australia.

“We have a role in improving animal welfare standards globally, not just cutting off trade.

”The VFF is encouraging debate on animal welfare. Animal welfare is crucial to productive farming.”

Mr Broad said animal welfare was one of the key issues of debate at the VFF conference, which included a panel session on animal welfare.

Panellists include Glenys Oogjes from Animal Australia, Maria Mercurio from RSPCA, Professor Paul Hemsworth from the Animal Welfare Science Centre and VFF Livestock President Chris Nixon.

The panel will discuss answers to the question: “What will animal welfare and food production in Victoria look like in ten years’ time?”

In regard to the protest, Mr Broad asked organisers to respect the right of farmers to peacefully run their conference and respect the fact that Animals Australia and RSPCA will be in the room.

“They are welcome to protest outside the conference but please don’t disrupt proceedings,” he said.

“We’re looking forward to hosting a long-overdue debate on the future of animal welfare. We hope this will lead to a more honest, open and sensible discussion about how food is produced.”

Bendigo
18 Apr, 2012

http://www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au/news/local/news/general/animal-welfare-protesters-to-target-vff-conference-in-bendigo/2526673.aspx?storypage=0