Ontario considers bill to protect farmers from animal rights activists

TORONTO — The Ontario government will consider all options including new legislation to shield farmers from animal rights activists, the province’s agriculture ministry said Friday.

The assurances from Agriculture Minister Ernie Hardeman’s office come as livestock producers press for action to prosecute those who trespass on their properties and aggressively protest at processing plants.

Ministry spokesman Avi Yufest said the government shares the producers’ concerns following a number of high-profile protests in the past year.

He said the government is meeting with farmers and other stakeholders to come up with a strategy which could include legislation.

“(The Minister) is working hard to protect the safety and security of our farmers, our food processors and the sector as a whole so nothing is off the table at this time,” Yufest said in a statement.

 

Ontario considers bill to protect farmers from animal rights activists