Social posts were the key to activist’s piglet theft guilt
A VEGAN animal welfare activist's social media postings, showing the inside of a Darling Downs piggery, led to her being charged with illegal entry and the theft of six piglets, a court has heard.
Brianna Lee Thauer, 21, pleaded guilty in Brisbane Magistrates Court to entering Cameron Pastoral Company's Pittsworth piggery with intent and stealing six piglets in November.
On November 20, after Thauer posted "pig rescue'' images on her social media, police found photos and videos on Thauer's mobile phone showing pigs, from inside the piggery shed.
The court heard GPS coordinates confirmed the photos had been taken on the pastoral company's property, which had $4 million dollars worth of stock, including 4000 piglets.
Thauer was one of six people charged over the illegal entry and theft, with others yet to be dealt with in court.
Police prosecutor, Senior Constable Merisha Wheatley, said Thauer climbed a fence, opened a security gate and entered a pig shed between 11.30pm on November 9 and 3.30am on November 10.
Defence lawyer David Svoboda said Thauer, a vegan, held strong, passionate views on animal welfare.
She had a certificate in animal studies and also had worked in early childhood.
Mr Svoboda said Thauer had chosen to be a vegetarian at the age of nine and three years ago she had become involved in animal rights with various groups.
He said she had found it to be a life changing experience.
The court heard although the piglets had been found, the pastoral company had lost $1800 because of their theft and handling.
Chief Magistrate Terry Gardiner placed Thauer on 12 months' probation and ordered her to pay $300 restitution to the pastoral company, one-sixth of the total restitution sought.
He did not record a conviction, saying although the offending was serious, a recorded conviction could affect Thauer's chances of future employment.
Thauer's Instagram has shown videos from inside a piggery and photos of her holding a piglet.
On November 10, on Instagram, she urged followers to watch her "pig rescue'' video, "to see the truth of where your 'food' actually comes from.
Reading from another Instagram post, outside court, Thauer said: "It never ceases to amaze me how you can be paid to hurt an animal and arrested to help one.
"Animals are the real victims here … their only 'crime' is that they exist.
"The idea that we have the right to inflict suffering and death on other sentient beings for the trivial reasons of pleasure and fashion is, without a doubt, one of the most arrogant and morally repugnant notions in history of human thought.''