Animal rights activists face court after trespassing on piggeries

Senior Constable Read said both Wills and Beattie took photos with the piglets.

Police found the pictures on a mobile phone during the search of a Maylands address on February 26.

Wills’ lawyer Ashley Watson told the court his client had a t-shirt covering her mouth in the photos, due to the «overpowering fumes» at the piggery.

Mr Watson said the «animal lover» did not publish the pictures on social media or interfere with the business, causing «no harm» to the piggery.

But Senior Constable Read said the piggery owner paid a «significant» amount for a vet to assess the animals because of bio-security concerns.

Mr Watson said Wills was horrified at what she saw in the piggery but had decided to choose her career over her activism.

«She thought it was for the greater good,» he said.

«It was a matter of principle.»

Magistrate Anne Longden said there was «no regard» to whether trespassing would endanger the animals.

«I am not convinced these actions do your cause any good,» she said.

Ms Longden told Mr Watson during Beattie’s sentencing, she did not believe the courtroom was a «stage».

«I don’t think this is a forum for general grandstanding,» she said.

Mr Watson said the «only thing that seems to stop animal cruelty is live footage».

In response, Senior Constable Read said, «clearly the intent was to broadcast this».

Mr Watson said Beattie was a father-of-one with a child on the way, who had also chosen his career and family over activism.

Ms Longden said she classified this trespassing as serious and the piggery owners were conducting legitimate business.

Wills was fined $3000 and was granted a spent conviction.

Beattie was fined $5000 and also granted a spent conviction.

Fellow activist James Warden, 25, attended court on Tuesday, in support of the pair.

He is due to face the Mandurah Magistrates Court on Friday charged with three counts of trespassing, two counts of aggravated burglary and two counts of stealing.

Warden was fined in the Mandurah Magistrates Court on March 22, after trespassing at a Mundijong farm and Blythewood’s GD Pork Pty Ltd.

A 25-year-old Morley woman is due to appear in Mandurah Magistrates Court on May 3.

A 25-year-old East Perth man and a 21-year-old Yangebup woman are due to appear in Bunbury Magistrates Court on May 9.

A 36-year-old Waroona woman is due to appear in Mandurah Magistrates Court on May 17.

– Mandurah Mail

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