Brockton Council has approved a motion supporting Bill 156 the Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety’s Act.
Bruce County Federation of Agriculture Director Chris Cossitt is pleased with Brockton’s support.
He says many farm commodity groups worked with the government on this legislation that he says aims to protect farms, farm families as well as farm animals.
Cossitt calls it alarming that farms have come under threat by individuals and activist who are illegally trespass on their properities.
Not only is this illegal, but he says it creates bio security concerns for the livestock.
Cossitt says when it comes to their livestock, animal care is a top priority for farmers.
He says if there are legitimate concerns about animal welfare there are proper government avenues to go through, saying it is never appropriate for activists to take it upon themselves to perform inspections.
He notes the legislation also applies to those who take it upon themselves to hunt, snowmobile, atv or trespass in any capacity on farms.
As such, Cossitt says many farmers welcome Bill 156 The Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act which is currently in its second reading.
Bill 156 comes with hefty fines for those who violate it including a 14 thousand dollar maximum fine for a first offence under the Act and a 25 thousand dollar fine for subsequent offences.
Opponents to Bill 156 argue that the legislation would criminalize under-cover information gathering by those who seek to expose the horrific treatment of farm animals.
Brockton is sending a letter to both the Premier of Ontario as well as MPP Lisa Thompson in support of Bill 156.
The municipality is also forwarding its motion to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario for consideration by other municipalities in Ontario as well as the Ontario Federation of Agriculture.