ONLINE animal activists have targeted a Wimmera stock agent on social media, prompting fresh calls for legislation changes.
Member for Lowan Emma Kealy and Nationals Victoria leader Peter Walsh met with agents from Driscoll, McIllree and Dickinson at the Horsham Regional Livestock Exchange on Wednesday last week.
DMD admin and finance manager Sally Ison said she raised the issue of animal activists with the leaders before and during their visit.
She said last month, the company shared a post at a livestock sale, which showed sheep being auctioned.
The post was shared by the page "Animal abuse at Australian saleyards" and attracted comments calling the industry "shameful" and the agents "rotten".
Ms Ison said some of the comments were disgraceful and upsetting.
She said the comments were personal, unjust and unwarranted.
Ms Ison said she would like to see changes introduced to legislation to stop the farming sector and agents being targeted by activists.
"There needs to be harsher penalties and that is what was discussed with Emma and Peter," she said.
The Victorian Legislative Council's Economy and Infrastructure Committee has launch a public inquiry into the impact of animal rights activism on Victorian agriculture.
The inquiry's committee will consider the effectiveness of legislation and other measures to prevent and deter activities by unauthorised persons on agricultural and associated industries.
Nationals Victoria leader Peter Walsh said farmers needed to tell the inquiry about any issues they have had with activists.
"We need genuine farmers to put submissions to the Upper House and it's really important because the activists will surely be making submissions too," he said.
Mr Walsh said any incident of activists targeting farmers was appalling.
"It is worse than disappointing - they are targeting people who are running lawful businesses, producing food for Australia and the world, and they have to have these protests inflicted on them," he said.
"Farmers are being intimidated and threatened and often having their livestock stolen."
Mr Walsh said it was good to hear the issues from Horsham agents last week.
Member for Lowan Emma Kealy said on her Facebook page that people could make submissions to the inquiry online at www.parliament.vic.gov.au.