A dairy farmer who was filmed firing a shotgun after a heated confrontation with animal rights activists in Western Australia says the footage does not show his side of the story.
Jason Parravicini confronted activist James Warden who, along with an unnamed woman, were filming from a car outside his Harvey property earlier this week.
The video shows Mr Parravicini demanding the pair cease filming before lunging for Mr Warden’s keys and accusing the activists of «tormenting Harvey» and telling them to «piss off».
The video then cuts to the activists driving past Mr Parravicini’s house, where he can be seen firing a shotgun — pointed away from the vehicle — in his backyard.
«[Regarding] the firearm, I honestly thought they had left,» Mr Parravicini, who claimed the video was «heavily edited», told ABC Radio.
«Every day at 2pm, I let a couple rounds go … a bit of a spray that will scare the vermin away from the young cattle.
«I wasn’t to know they were there.
«For anyone to say I was shooting at them — number one, no-one in their right mind would do that and number two, I have too much to lose to do anything like that.»
Documenting ‘abused animals’
Mr Warden, who describes himself as a «non-apologetic animal rights activist» said he was attempting to film male calves being «dragged from their forcibly impregnated grieving mothers» when the confrontation started.
«We live in a democratic society where we are able to take photos of these abused animals on these facilities,» Mr Warden said.
«We are not going to regress in these sorts of situations.
«The beneficiaries of us not actually taking these photos and exposing this type of abuse is the farmers who are emotionally and physically tormenting these animals.»
Mr Warden declined to reveal how he found Mr Parravicini’s property.
He says he has been receiving death threats ever since the media got hold of the story.
Tension already high after ‘roadmap to grief’ published
Australia’s farming community has been on edge since January, when a website called Aussie Farms published a map revealing the location and details of pastoral operations around the country.
While Mr Parravicini’s property is not listed on the site, industry officials say the fear of this kind of incident is driving up anxiety among farmers.
President of Pastoralists and Graziers Association of Western Australia, Tony Seabrook said the community already felt it was «under attack», and described the Farms Australia site as a «roadmap to grief».
«It was unfortunate that it was published and there will be repercussions,» Mr Seabrook said.
«It brings the risk of disease as well as interrupting business.
«It will not be a good thing for the industry.»
I’m calling for calm after an incident in WA. After arguing with activists filming from a car out the front of his home, seemingly on the road, a dairy farmer discharged a shotgun though not in the direction of the activists.
This follows the launch of the “Aussie Farms” website. pic.twitter.com/KcPBODoOAH
— David Littleproud (@D_LittleproudMP) 15 de febrero de 2019
Aussie Farms Executive Director Chris Delforce said it was not intended to promote trespassing, rather to «encourage people to drive past and snap a few photos from the road.»
«We’re certainly not encouraging anyone to break the law to get material.»
The group said if requested, the group would remove contact details of farmers.
‘Atmosphere of fear’
Federal Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud urged «calm» in the wake of the incident but linked it to the launch of the Aussie Farms map.
In a statement, Mr Littleproud described the document an «attack map for activists» and said producers «have a right to farm without being harassed.»
Mr Littleproud said he was «genuinely concerned» there would be an incident in which someone would be «seriously hurt or worse».
«Differences between sections of the vegan and farm communities will not be solved with confrontation,» the minister said.
«I again ask for the owners of the Aussie Farms website to pull down its farm map.
«It’s creating an atmosphere of fear and anxiety on farms around Australia.»