animal activist

Animal Activists Caught!


In New South Wales, a bunch of animal activists are charged with penalties. Why? Because they did not get a formal invitation (they went all 007) and sneaked into a chicken farm. Obviously, their intention is to expose the bad treatment of the animals but their actions might actually cause more harm to the animals…

The activist are possibly facing $1.1 million fine for their trespassing and could even face up to three years in jail. By coming into the farm, these activists could have brought an unknown pathogen. This put the livestock at risk. Last year, an outbreak of influenza lead to the death of half a million layer hens. The ripple effect of this not only causes harm to the livestock but it also puts one of Australia’s primary industry.

Of course, the activist says that this action ‘stifles free speech’. As a past Communication student, I can not count the amount of consent forms I had to prepare before an interview for an assignment. Even though the activists had the best of intentions in their action, I personally think it’s very inappropriate for journalist (let alone activist!) to sneak into private property and snoop around. Indeed, I also understand that without brave souls like them, who are willing to risk their livelihood to seek justice are commendable. Without their action, the world will be in a different place. However, if your actions end up causing more harm then good…

What to do about animal activists (or any type of activist turned whistleblower)?

Looking simply at the past year, whistleblowers or activist have done much good in 2014. Looking at the horrendous footage caught by a worker in the chicken factory in China, this led to a slump for the major food chains. But we also saw that people were being kept safe any foodborne pathogens that could have been carried in the production process. So we can’t completely neglect the hard work of whistleblowers and activist. However, we do need to keep an eye out on the methods in which they get their information and whether it actually causes more good or harm.

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