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Friday, January 3, 2020

Huron-Bruce MPP Thompson Says Farm Trespass Bill Will Protect Farmers And Activists

Huron-Bruce | by Peter Jackson  

Lisa Thompson says trespass bill will reduce confrontations between activists and livestock producers.

The province is moving against people who trespass on farm and agri-food properties. 

A bill was introduced in the Legislature in early December, that calls for heavy penalties on conviction under the Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act.

Huron-Bruce Progressive Conservative MPP Lisa Thompson tells us that most people who want to get onto farmland for hunting, hiking or snowmobiling, ask for permission first.

She notes that the bill introduced by Agriculture Minister Ernie Hardeman aims to deal with mostly animal rights activists and others, who seek to disrupt farm and food processing operations.

Thompson says activists usually confine their activities to taking pictures or shooting video of farm practices.

She adds that -- if passed -- the bill would help cut down on confrontations between activists and farmers.

Thompson points to a 2019 incident at a Middlesex County hog operation that she says "didn't play out well". 

Fines under the proposed act would begin at $15 thousand for a first offence, and $25 thousand for each violation after that.

The legislation would also provide for restitution to the property owner, if a farm or agri-food operation is damaged during a trespassing incident.

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