Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has criticised animal rights activists as “shameful and un-Australian” after dozens have been arrested in nationwide protests.
On Monday, activists broke into abattoirs and chained themselves as much as protest in opposition to the meat trade.
Greater than 100 protesters additionally blocked one in all Melbourne’s primary intersections, earlier than many have been forcibly eliminated.
Mr Morrison mentioned the activism was damaging to farmers’ livelihoods.
“That is simply one other type of activism that I feel runs in opposition to the nationwide curiosity, and the nationwide curiosity is [farmers] with the ability to farm their very own land,” he advised radio station 2GB.
He later referred to as on state authorities to carry “the complete power of the regulation… in opposition to these green-collared criminals”.
Australia is second solely to the US for meat consumption per individual, in line with the World Financial Discussion board.
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The nation’s livestock trade accounts for greater than 40% of its agricultural output.
The protests happened in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland and aimed to lift publicity about animal remedy and the ethics of consuming meat.
“We wish individuals to go vegan – we wish individuals to cease supporting animal abuse,” one campaigner, Kristin Leigh, advised the Australian Broadcasting Company.
“Animals are struggling in ways in which most of us might by no means think about. It’s not about greater cages – it’s about animal liberation.”
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Police mentioned 38 protesters have been arrested in Melbourne. An additional 9 have been arrested at an abattoir in Goulburn, 168km (104 miles) south of Sydney, after chaining themselves to equipment.
The Australian Meat Trade Council mentioned butcher outlets had been beneath a sustained “assault” by campaigners.
“This has to cease and cease now. We have to take a look at the 99% of individuals in Australia that want to and desirous to eat pink meat merchandise,” mentioned chief govt Patrick Hutchinson.
International meat consumption has elevated quickly over the previous 50 years.
Meat manufacturing in the present day is almost 5 occasions greater than within the early 1960s – from 70 million tonnes to greater than 330 million tonnes in 2017, in line with the Our World in Information challenge.