THREATENING phone calls, believed to be from extreme animal activists, are being made to a number of farmers throughout WA.
A number of livestock producers have received disturbing phone calls about animal welfare images overseas and threatening comments relating to the whereabouts of the farmers' children.
New Norcia farmer Iain Nicholson, who received calls, said he had also spoken with a number of other agricultural industry personnel who had had similar calls.
"They threatened to put posters up of poor animal welfare overseas and that sort of thing," Mr Nicholson said.
"But they were also saying that they knew where our children were and that they were a lot closer to them than we knew.
"I didn't take that very well, I can tell you that.
"It has been going on for about a month."
Mr Nicholson said he had been in contact with Federal Member for Durack Melissa Price and both were urging farmers who had similar calls to come forward.
Ms Price's office confirmed it had received numerous complaints about the threatening and disturbing calls.
"If there are people getting these bogus phone calls we need to highlight how widespread it is," Mr Nicholson said.
"The police said to me to get a private number, but I run a business, I can't go underground.
"I think what they (the extreme activists) are trying to do is just make it hard for us and it is just another tool for them.
"One farmer I spoke with said he had been getting calls and had to shut down his phone.
"I also spoke to a veterinarian student who was getting the calls with a muffled voice saying 'I have been in your house, I have been in your fridge,' so it is clearly widespread."
The frightening calls follow a letter that was received in November 2012 by Mingenew cattle and sheep producers, Paul and Kellie Starick.
The anonymous letter appeared to have a religious agenda and had been photocopied.
Keysbrook cattle producer Bruce Campbell's 95-year-old mother also received the same letter.
Ms Price addressed her concerns in the House of Representatives earlier this month.
She said the 2011 live cattle export ban was bad enough for farmers and pastoralists and said the human welfare side of the argument needed to be remembered.
"Make no mistake nobody, including these cattle producers, wants to see cruelty to animals," Ms Price said.
"It is however the human welfare side of the live export debate that is of concern to me and my constituents and is something that I believe needs to be brought to the forefront of all Australians minds.
"In many anti-live export campaigners haste to criticise this industry and, in their minds, stand up for the welfare of animals, they seem to have forgotten their own humanity and the welfare of their fellow man and woman.
"These cattle producers are not all big corporations.
"They are hard working families who have been victimised by people who seem to have lost their way."
She said anti-live export campaigners were resorting to threats and intimidation tactics to send their message.
"They are threatening not only the lives of these producers, but their children as well," she said.
She said social media was also a weapon of choice to relay these threats and intimidations.
"Their ability to remain relatively anonymous and 'troll' through various Facebook pages simply reinforces the term 'keyboard warrior', and is utterly appalling," she said.
"On a Facebook page, a threat was recently made against my constituent's children and their primary school.
"A report has been made by both the school principal and my constituent to the police, and Facebook has been contacted.
"Unfortunately these people have yet to be removed from Facebook.
"Months of multiple phone calls per day to this house and family have also been reported to police.
"These farmers don't deserve to have their livelihood taken from them, and are fearful that what may have been idle threats so far, will turn into something less peaceful.
"In the words of this constituent: 'How far are these extremists allowed to go? How much must we as producers take and how long will this constant bombardment of attacks toward producers, our families and our businesses be allowed to continue?'
"I dread to think of the possibilities."