Animal activists have their sentences reduced

Animal activists' sentences reduced

Goulburn District Court upheld severity appeals and downgraded the sentences of four animal activists who had chained themselves in protest to a conveyor belt at Southern Meats on April 8.

Vanessa Lee Burton, 28, David Coulter, 46, and Siena Arial Callandar, 26, all from Sydney, appealed the severity of their sentences handed down by the Goulburn Local Court earlier this year.

They were originally sentenced on charges of entering enclosed lands and resisting or hindering police.

All of them had been convicted by that court.

Coulter received a 12-month Community Corrections Order and was fined $1800.

Burton received an 18-month Community Corrections Order and was fined $2100.

Callandar received a nine-month Community Corrections Order and was fined $2850.

They were each ordered to pay $621 in compensation to Southern Meats and $52 to NSW Police.

A fourth protester, a 61-year-old woman from Canberra who had not been convicted in the Goulburn Local Court, also had her sentence downgraded.

A NSW Justice Department spokesperson said the outcomes for all four read that: "The severity appeal is upheld. The convictions and sentence orders set aside and the compensation orders are set aside."

They were all: "Found guilty, but without proceeding to conviction, and sentenced to Conditional Release Orders of 12 months," the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, the NSW Farmers Association has welcomed moves from the NSW State Government to amend biosecurity legislation and increase the penalties against animal activists.

"Biosecurity is critical to farmers, as it ensures our market access and minimises disease risk to provide high quality welfare outcomes," NSW Farmers president James Jackson said.

"The risks posed by trespassers has been long overlooked and the government's action demonstrates their commitment to assisting farmers protect their biosecurity."

"NSW Farmers has always said a range of activities are required to combat the risks that these activists pose."

The announcement comes as the federal parliament is set to consider new laws this week that create an offence for using the internet to "incite" trespass on farms.