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New legislation to curb on-farm trespass (Bill 156)

June 22, 2020

On June 17, 2020, Bill 156, the Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act, 2020, received Royal Assent. Once proclaimed into force, the act will further protect against the health and safety risks of on-farm trespassing.
 
To deter trespassers, the act increases the trespassing fine from a maximum of $10,000 to a first offence fine of $15,000 and up to $25,000 for a subsequent offence, among other protection measures.
 
The Ontario Federation of Agriculture and several livestock commodity groups were united in seeing this legislation come to fruition.
 
“If there’s one thing the COVID-19 outbreak has demonstrated, it’s the importance of a steady and reliable food supply and the safety of those who feed us,” says Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “I am more committed than ever to supporting our farmers, food processors and transport sector—the agri-food heroes who have worked so hard to keep food on our grocery store shelves and our kitchen tables throughout this crisis.”
 
In recent years, farmers have faced increased levels of trespass and theft of livestock from their farms, as well as mental heath stress due to these threats. Bill 156 will better protect farmers, animals, livestock transporters and the province’s food supply by, among other things, taking a harder line on trespassers and providing greater tools to law enforcement officials to deal with this growing issue of animal rights activism and farm trespass, while simultaneously protecting the right for people to participate in lawful protests on public property.
 
Read more about the act in the links below.
 

 

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