Truck set on fire at feedlot

11 Nov, 2014 01:28 PM
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19
 
A manure contractor's truck was set on fire after vandals broke into a South West feedlot overnight.
They don't all have halos - there is a dark side.
A manure contractor's truck was set on fire after vandals broke into a South West feedlot overnight.

UPDATED:

A SOUTH West feedlot has been broken into and vandalised early Tuesday morning.

The slogan, 'Stop live exports' was sprayed onto a shed at the facility, which is owned by Rural Exports and Trading, and a truck and trailer were set on fire.

Rural Exports and Trading general manager Mike Gordon said it was the third attack at the facility in 12 to 18 months.

"The graffiti is a nuisance, but destroying the truck belonging to a manure contractor destroys his livelihood and that is criminal," Mr Gordon said.

"We are tired of these activists being considered angels.

"They don't all have halos - there is a dark side."

Mr Gordon said in dryer conditions, the fire could have spread further putting livestock in the feedlot at risk.

"It could have been a very bad situation," Mr Gordon said.

"This is just senseless industrial espionage, and often they don't think through the consequences.

"They might think they are damaging the trade, but actually they are damaging people's livelihood."

This feedlot is not the only livestock facility to have been attacked in recent months.

Mr Gordon said other facilities in WA have also been vandalised and equipment damaged.

In June, $30,000 worth of damage was done to a tractor, and a livestock carrier had its tyres slashed.

Police, including a forensic team, are investigating and the company is reviewing its security measures.

Live export company Wellard alleges it has also had its own feedlot sabotaged on a number of occasions.

It said earlier this year activists placed the lives of the general public at severe risk, when they partially severed the brake lines and electrics between the prime mover and a grain trailer of two grain trucks that were due to deliver grain to the Fremantle wharf.

“The brake lines were only partially severed so we potentially could have had an 80 tonne truck and trailer moving through Fremantle on Easter Sunday with faulty brakes,” said Wellard Rural Exports CEO Fred Troncone.

“We were lucky we found the sabotaged lines when we did because they were cut in a position that was obviously designed to hide the damage from detection.

“People have a right to protest, but they don’t have a right to engage in criminal acts which puts lives at risk.”

Police are continuing to investigate that issue.

In other instances appliances have had their electrical cords cut, shearing machines and wool presses have been sabotaged, graffiti has been spray painted on buildings, a feed wagon has had its hydraulic lines cut and padlocks have been superglued.

“How can people claim they support animal welfare and then prevent our staff from feeding our sheep and monitoring their condition for any illness?” Mr Troncone said.

“That sabotage won’t stop live export, but it will mean that sheep will go hungry while we source parts to fix our machinery.”

Wellard increased its security after its trucks were sabotaged during Easter this year.

Any member of the public who might have any information related to these incidents is encouraged to contact CrimeStoppers.

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FarmWeekly
Jacinta Bolsenbroek

Jacinta Bolsenbroek

is a senior journalist at Farm Weekly
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READER COMMENTS

Katrina Love
11/11/2014 4:38:06 PM, on Farm Weekly

That's not activism - that's a criminal act of violence and wilful damage.
cushla
11/11/2014 9:17:30 PM, on Farm Weekly

This is not an activist act. No smart minded activist would set fire to something near bushland endangering wildlife. This is merely thugs or wannabe activists who have no idea what they are doing.
Katrina Love
11/11/2014 10:00:11 PM, on Farm Weekly

Stop Live Exports (the organisation) publicly and vehemently condemns this criminal and violent act of wilful damage. We have no connection with, support for, or knowledge of, the person/people responsible ad are adamant that none of the activists or activist/advocacy organisations we are aware of would act in such a dangerous and damaging manner. We hope that the perpetrator/s of such an idiotic and dangerous act of vandalism and arson as this, is caught and punished to the full extent of the law. Targetting individuals for a government policy is the height of stupidity.
Paul Cox
12/11/2014 7:01:08 AM, on Farm Weekly

Given the recent rhetoric of Animals Australia & people who support them such as Andrew Wilkie it would not be a surprise if a "lone wolf" supporter has taken their words such as"'we are done playing nice" & "evil death cult" as an invitation to perpetrate such dangerous acts. The frequency of acts of intimidation and harm to property & equipment is increasing in proportion to the decrease in the effectiveness of activists in the political sphere where they have been marginalized. I expect that as the pressure increases on activists these types of attacks, verbal & physical will increase
Julie W
12/11/2014 7:12:23 AM, on Farm Weekly

Destroy equipment used for the upkeep & welfare of the livestock. Well they are a special kind of stupid aren't they.
peter swift
12/11/2014 8:06:05 AM, on Farm Weekly

nothing more than radical terism that is infertrating in all levels of the country this is war not crimanal .
Farmerswifeintraining
12/11/2014 8:18:13 AM, on Farm Weekly

"Smart minded activist", "Wannabe activist" both have a common word in there "Activist". Regardless of whether or not you want them to be representing you, they are representing the "Activist community". As a point, I have seen "activists" online since this article was published supporting the destruction and vandalism of property belonging to farmers, live export companies and specifically to the acts mentioned in this particular article. There are still activists who will behave this way and who will support this behaviour, the "Animal Rights" movement is far from squeeky clean.
Pres Res
12/11/2014 9:40:37 AM, on Farm Weekly

It's just as likely that someone who is totally unconnected with the anti live export movement is responsible for this. Honestly, you can make claims of stupidity etc, but any person spraying that message would have known it added a huge potential of supplying forensic evidence which could track down the culprit(s). This smells more like a set up to me, it's all too easy, and it wouldn't be the first time.. I understand there was a word or symbol used in the spray painted message in addition to 'Stop live exports. Does anyone know what that was?
Timeforchange
12/11/2014 11:37:32 AM, on Farm Weekly

I don't condemn this at all and activists are angels. If the laws are going to support cruelty then people are going to fight the law. Nothing changes by quiet protest, this has been proven throughout history, unfortunately governments only take notice when things go wrong! There is no justice or right and wrong anymore, corporations are making the laws now not the people, good on them for doing this I hope to see more of it!
AusVegan
12/11/2014 3:16:21 PM, on Farm Weekly

How about waiting for someone to be arrested/charged before we start finger pointing. Regarding the Wellard prime mover incident, those brakes are air operated. This means that once the air is drained from the tanks, the brakes lock on, so there was no danger to the public. For all we know Wellard could be trying to shift blame for a poor maintenance program.
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Dear BAAAARRY You miss the point. I created a successful farming background from shearing and
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Based on this article, I feel obliged to congratulate AWI on the magnificent job they do with
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there We go looking for a way to attack labor not good enough