Euroa resident sees both sides

By Geoff Adams

Nicola Fanning from Euroa has a farm and is also an animal welfare advocate.

"I do not agree with the tactics of some activist groups and individuals, eg. those who invaded the Gippy Goat Cafe and to a lesser extent those who held up traffic and hindered the general public in going about their business," Ms Fanning has told a Victorian parliamentary inquiry in a submission..

"However I have many times over many years 'trespassed' in an attempt to assist animals which were emaciated and suffering from severe malnutrition often leading to considerable numbers of deaths.

"I have always reported my concerns either to the RSPCA or Agriculture Victoria but unfortunately have learnt that I cannot have any confidence that animals will be quickly assisted and their owners brought to account.

"I will admit that these cases are often quite large and involve owners who are unreasonable and difficult to deal with. There are more of these types of cases than many people would think.

"I have been 'working' on a significant case in my local area for the past three years but particularly over the past 12 months. Agriculture Victoria have finally brought animal cruelty charges against two of the three owners.

"The new district veterinary officer has been thoroughly engaged and committed and this has also brought about better welfare outcomes for the animals.

"However it is my belief that if I hadn't continued with my regular surveillance which was risky, frightening and confronting, this case would once again not have been dealt with effectively."