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Tough new farm trespass laws to protect Australia’s farmers from the unlawful actions of animal activists have passed the Australian Parliament.

Member for Calare, Andrew Gee, said the Criminal Code Amendment (Agricultural Protection) Bill showed Australia’s farmers that Australians were on their side.

“Militant animal activists have invaded farms across the country trespassing, threatening and harassing farming families. This Bill makes it a criminal offence to publish material, via a carriage service like the internet, if you intend to incite trespass, property damage or theft on agricultural land,” Mr Gee said.

“Animal activists who use the personal information of family farmers to incite trespass risk imprisonment of up to five years.

“The Federal Government is serious about deterring those who want to disrupt and intimidate our farmers, fishers and foresters in their homes and on their properties,” Mr Gee added.

Mr Gee said anyone convicted of the offence would face up to five years in prison.

“Australians expect that the farmers who feed and clothe us and many millions around the world, should not be harassed or worse, as they go about their work.

“Farmers have enough to worry about with this devastating drought. They shouldn’t have to lie awake at night worrying about whether they are going to be targeted by militant and loopy activists - most of whom are from the city and have no idea about the way farms or country communities operate.

“The time has come for activists to understand they can’t just descend on someone’s home and farm, interfere with their business and injure their animals.

“We’re not banning protests—we’re banning militant animal activists from inciting others to break the law.”

The Government amended the Bill to include adding wood processing facilities to coverage under the Bill.