Farmer speaks after protest: ‘They called us calf killers’
"NO ONE should ever have to go through, what my family, staff and animals endured at the weekend, the laws need to change."
This is the call from David McNamee, the farmer at the centre of the animal activist invasion on the Darling Downs, Queensland.
Mr McNamee and his family run Lemontree feedlot and dairy at Millmerran.
At around lunchtime on Saturday, while Mr McNamee and his family were having smoko on the veranda, they saw two vans and about 30 cars pull up at their front gate.
More than 100 vegan activists began to enter the property.
Mr McNamee said they knew immediately what was going on.
David's daughter, Zan McCallum, said they had been advised via letter by the Australian Lot Feeders' Association that an attack was planned in the area for that weekend, but they were unsure where.
"I went to the car to go and tell them to leave," Mr McNamee said.
"My daughter Alexandra called the police straight away."
The family said they were well aware of the Aussie Farms map which their property is listed on.
Mr McNamee, pictured in videos of the attack shared all over social media, said he walked with the activists across the paddock to the feedlot.
He said the abuse towards him went on for about an hour and half.
"They were yelling abuse, the most profound profanities you've ever heard."
Mr McNamee eventually got the activists to leave his property, after showing them what they were looking for.
"They called us calf killers, said we kill all our bobby calves, we showed them the calves all there and they were in great order, we have bull calves we raise there, we raise them all.
"They pulled up at the front gate and were chanting for about 10 minutes."
Mr McNamee said the police arrived once the activists were already off the property. No arrests have been made.
The McNamee family have also supplied this statement following the events at the weekend:
"Over the weekend our family-run cattle business located in Queensland's Darling Downs region was overrun by a group of more than 100 people who had illegally trespassed on our property.
"We are a family owned and operated business, with three generations of our family involved in the business.
"We are dedicated to providing goods and services of only the very highest quality - with a strong commitment to following industry best practice, most importantly animal welfare.
"This incident has been extremely distressing for our family and our staff.
"In following industry best-practice, the safety of our staff and livestock are a priority - as well as adhering to the stringent biosecurity protocols for our industry.
"However, the actions over the weekend of those who illegally trespassed on our property put our family, staff and livestock at risk.
"It remains unclear why our family business has been targeted by this group of activists.
"We understand for many people in the community that some of the images can be confronting and distressing.
"Our family is dedicated to the health and welfare of our livestock, which means we provide all possible treatment options to our cattle if they become ill.
"We are committed to industry best practice protocols and operate to alleviate the risk of ill health and limit mortality. However, for farmers like ourselves, the loss of livestock does occur and is sadly a reality of farming from time to time.
"We appreciate the support we have received from other producers, the industry and our local community since this incident - and we will continue to work with the relevant authorities and Queensland Police, who attended our property over the weekend, to ensure the future safety of our family business.
"For now we are keen to get back to work with as little disruption as possible."