Fitness guru Michelle Bridges stirs up farmers
YOUNG farmers have taken on Australian fitness queen in a battle of moral stances.
Michelle Bridges reignited the debate on 'ag-gag' laws with a column in a Sydney paper recently, calling for Australian consumers to resist the introduction of US- style ag-gag legislation which would restrict filming of all animal production by activists.
Her column sparked strong emotions among Australia's farming community with the Australian Farm Institute writing an open letter to Ms Bridges
"Apparently you don't like the law, because you think people should be able to illegally enter farms and livestock facilities and plant secret cameras around the place, and then come back later and break in again and retrieve the cameras and the video footage," Bill wrote.
"I was pretty cranky about what you wrote because the people breaking into farms in the middle of the night have been terrifying farm families (farms are also where farm families live) and also breaking biosecurity rules that prevent the animals getting diseases.
"You seem to think it's OK to break into a farm and secretly film what is happening on account of the fact that you and your mates in the city want to be sure the food you are eating has come from farms that don't treat their animals badly or break any laws.
"This is a bit surprising to me, as last time I was in the city and went to a supermarket I noticed that most of the pigmeat and nearly all the canned fruit and vegetables in the supermarket was imported from overseas countries that don't have any of the rules we operate under here, so that left me wondering just how fussy you and your mates really are about where your food comes from."
Here was Ms Bridges' response on Facebook:
Art4Agriculture Young Farming Champion Hannah Barber is one of many producers who've extended an invitation to Ms Bridges to share their stories.
Gates are being open the television star in New South Wales including Ms Barber's cattle property in Parkes, Tom Tourle's sheep farm in Dubbo, Georgia Clark's chooks at Lake Macquarie and Prue Capp's horses in the Hunter Valley.
Ms Barber told APN she didn't mean to exclude Queensland, but was trying to make such a trip logistically possible and inviting for Ms Bridges.
"If she does respond as is keen to visit I will do my best to showcase to her all of the great Australian Agricultural industries and areas," she said.
Queensland farmers - if you are interested in opening your gates to Ms Bridges, contact Ms Barber via email (just click on the highlight words in this sentence)