19 Apr, 2012
An anonymous group of animal activists will
stage a protest outside the Victorian Farmers Federation's Annual Conference
in Bendigo today and Friday.
The group issued a media release
yesterday without leaving any details of who they are.
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 &
"This is an insult to all farmers," VFF president
Andrew Broad said. "Farmers are leaders in animal welfare and care about
"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," VFF President Andrew Broad said. "Animal welfare is crucial to
Mr Broad said animal welfare was one of the key
issues of debate at the VFF conference, which included a panel session on
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
"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."