The National Farmers Federation has called upon animal activists to operate within the boundaries of the law after its Canberra headquarters was vandalised late last week.
Staff arrived at the NFF office last Friday morning to find graffiti and paint on the building.
The slogan “Ban Live Exports” was spray painted across the NFF building sign, with more paint and foul language scribbled on the front and rear entrance doors.
The NFF has stated that it is the fifth case of vandalism at the Barton office in recent years.
NFF president Brent Finlay said animal activists who took the law into their own hands disrespected the process of community engagement in animal welfare by those who are genuinely committed to improvement.
“Australian farmers are regarded internationally as having strong farm animal welfare standards. As exporters, we recognise that there are risks to the welfare of Australian livestock if they leave approved supply chains.
“This is why there are robust measures in place to strengthen control and traceability and to prevent facilities and importers who breach our standards from receiving Australian livestock. In addition exporters are actively helping to improve the way animals are handled and slaughtered in overseas markets by training over 7500 workers and helping to improve facilities with more modern infrastructure and equipment
“We respect the right of others to have different points of view, and we expect them to advocate those points of view in a constructive and lawful way.
“Unfortunately, attacks of this type on Australian farmers and their workers are far too common. Trespass in the middle of the night, wilful vandalism of property and use of threatening language is not constructive and it is against the law.”
Animals Australia, which last week reported footage of cattle being sledgehammered to death in Vietnam to the Government and media, told the AAP news agency that it did not condone the vandalism of the NFF headquarters.
“But it would be nice to see the NFF getting equally upset over cattle in Vietnam having their skulls shattered by sledgehammers,” a spokeswoman told AAP.
The media service also quoted a spokesperson from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals stating that live exports was an issue many felt passionately about:”Some spray paint on a building is nothing compared to the fear and suffering that just one sheep on a live export ship endures, not to mention the millions of others,” the spokesperson said.