A West Australian farmer has denied firing his gun to intimidate vegan activists who filmed calves at his property, saying he was instead scaring vermin away from livestock feed.
Edited footage taken by the activists from inside their car, which was parked on the road next to Jason Parravicini’s Harvey property, shows the farmer firing a shot into his land.
Separately, he approached the vehicle, asking the pair to ‘move on’.
One of the activists, Direct Action Everywhere member James Warden, posted on social media that Mr Parravicini had ‘unlawfully discharged a firearm … in the presence of …. concerned citizens after assaulting them while they were in their car on public property.’
But the primary producer said he fired the shot in another direction after speaking to the pair, and thought they had left.
‘For anyone to say I was shooting at them … no one in their right mind would do that,’ Mr Parravicini told ABC radio on Friday.
‘I’m a licensed firearm owner and not for a second was it pointed at them. I’m nowhere near them – it’s a good 300 metres at least.’
He said the activists didn’t come onto his property but told him he was ‘hurting animals’.
‘I think I kept my cool for a long time,’ Mr Parravicini said.
Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said farmers had a right to do their work without being harassed.
‘Family farms are people’s homes. Children live in these homes,’ Mr Littleproud said.
The minister said the incident followed the launch of the ‘Aussie Farms’ website, which he labelled an ‘attack map for activists’ listing hundreds of farms and their addresses.