It is now illegal in Manitoba to block or interfere with vehicles transporting animals for commercial purposes, including to food production facilities.
The Progressive Conservative government amended The Animal Diseases Act, making it an offense to interact or interfere with animals on someone’s property or during transportation.
The Tories also beefed up trespass laws, saying a person needs consent before accessing a farm biosecurity zone, therefore making it easier for landowners to prevent any and all unauthorized access to their property. A biosecurity zone, according to the law, is considered “an area on or within a farm, animal production facility or animal processing facility.”
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The restricted property, so long as it’s owned by a farmer, includes land without a building or other structure on it and it doesn’t matter if there is or isn’t a structure, like a fence, surrounding the property.
President of Keystone Agricultural Producers, Bill Campbell, says the new rules are going to protect farmers’ families, livestock and livelihoods.
The amendment carries the same rules around construction sites, a residential lawn or garden and land used to cultivate crops.
Anyone guilty of breaking The Animal Disease Act could face a fine of up to $10,000, up to a year in prison, or both.