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Ontario government considers legislation to protect farmers from animal rights activists

A farm in the Clarington/Port Hope region on Monday, August 28, 2017. .
A farm in the Clarington/Port Hope region on Monday, August 28, 2017. . THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Stephen C. Host

TORONTO – Ontario’s agriculture minister says he has not ruled out introducing new legislation to protect farmers from animal rights activists who trespass on their property.

A spokesman for Ernie Hardeman could not provide specific measures the government is considering but says in a statement that “nothing is off the table”.

The minister says he will meet with agriculture stakeholders and people impacted by on-farm trespassing in the coming weeks.

READ MORE: Feds, Ontario government commit up to $500,000 to province’s beekeeping sector

A spokesman for Hardeman says the minister is holding the meetings to seek advice as the government formulates a strategy.

The government says trespassers put both health and safety and the integrity of the provinces’ food system at risk.

In recent years, Ontario mink farmers have been the target of animal rights activists who have released hundreds of the animals from barns.

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WATCH: Case dismissed against Toronto activist who gave water to pigs headed to slaughter (May 4, 2017)

Case dismissed against Toronto activist who gave water to pigs headed to slaughter
Case dismissed against Toronto activist who gave water to pigs headed to slaughter
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