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Ontario government introduces bill 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 has introduced a new bill that the government says will protect farmers from aggressive animal rights activists.

The bill – dubbed the Security from Trespass and Animal Safety Act – passed first reading in the provincial legislature Monday.

If adopted, the law would increase fines for trespassing on farms and food processing facilities and make it illegal to obstruct trucks carrying farm animals.

READ MORE: Ontario government considers legislation to protect farmers from animal rights activists

The bill proposes fines of up to $15,000 for a first offence and up to $25,000 for subsequent offences, compared to current maximum trespassing fines of $10,000.

Livestock producers have been pressing the government to prosecute those who trespass on their properties and aggressively protest at processing plants.

Animal rights activists have said they are worried the bill could result in the government trampling their rights.

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Ontario takes over OSPCA animal cruelty investigations
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