Wheatbelt land owners urged to be calm with animal activist protesters

Calling for calm: Police have warned the farming community to remain calm as animal activists reach the Wheatbelt. Photo: Twitter.
Calling for calm: Police have warned the farming community to remain calm as animal activists reach the Wheatbelt. Photo: Twitter.

Police have warned the farming community to remain calm as animal activists reach the Wheatbelt, with suggestions a protest was set to take place at Muresk Institute in Northam.

The Wheatbelt District Police superintendent has acknowledged speculation over a potential protest in the region by activists was circulating in the community - but this turned out to be untrue.

Police and community members attended a meeting in the South West last Friday headed by WA Police Commander Allan Adams.

This follows the arrest of a 25-year-old man and 24-year-old woman from Perth for allegedly trespassing at agricultural properties in Mundijong and Blythwood in February.

Superintendent Martin Cope said there have been two recent reports of protests in the Wheatbelt.

"We have had an incident in Muchea at the pig yards and one at Muresk that we suspect was a hoax," he said.

"No protest occurred but it still caused distress and alarm."

Superintendent Cope said people the animal activists are entitled to protest.

"We want people to understand that people have the right to protest peacefully and lawfully, people can film on their mobile phones; there is no laws against that if it is done correctly," he said.

"We are asking people to be calm.

"If you engage with the protesters do so in a calm and appropriate manner.

"If they wont leave and they're on public space they're entitled to be there as long as they are not interfering with what they're doing.

"If they do come on your property and you ask them to leave and they don't comply we'd prefer people to call us and we will come and help rather than people taking matters into their own hands." 

Superintendent Cope said protesters, regardless of cause, have been typically been cooperative in the Wheatbelt.

"We have protesters up here time to time for various different issues whether it be quarry mining, at the detention centre or livestock places," he said.

"To date the ones that we have seen in the Wheatbelt have been peaceful with people trying to get their message across.

"They're entitled to do that.

"If it does happen we ask people to keep their composure and stay calm.

"Don't react if you are provoked."