GALLERY: Vegan activists set up camp at Swickers
MEMBERS of an animal activist group travelled from Brisbane to Kingaroy to participate in a peaceful vigil today.
More than 20 people from Brisbane Animal Save set up camp on the corner of Haly St and Clark and Swendson Rd along the side of the Swickers Bacon Factory.
They held signs of images that depicted cruelty towards animals and filmed trucks carrying pigs that were en route to Swickers.
Brisbane Animal Save founder Amanda Holly said she started the group as a way of creating change.
"We have been running since 2017," Ms Holly said.
"We hold vigils, mainly in Brisbane, but we try to get out to Kingaroy when we can.
"From an activist point of view, actually seeing the animals on the trucks and bearing witness to them going into the slaughterhouse, I think it strengthens people's views.
"It writes home about why we are vegan," she said.
As the vigil began, local police officers were on scene at the event.
Sergeant Brent Gerber from Kingaroy Police Station said they attended the site to provide advice to the group.
"In the Peaceful Assemblies Act, they had to have a permit to have a public assembly," Sgt Gerber said.
"The officer in charge at the station approved it, so we came down here today to make sure everyone was safe.
"It's a busy road so we want to make sure the road users and vigil attendees are safe.
"They have been given a direction not to enter the roadway here on Clarks and Haly St.
"In order for that direction to be understood, I had the power to take their names as well," he said.
Ms Holly said she encouraged people to attend their vigils, even if they are not vegan.
"I think most people do love animals.
"When they see the trucks, their natural instinct is to look away.
"I also understand that being a vegan in a community like this is probably quite difficult, so I also understand if they don't want to come and stand with us."
She said, like anything in life, there are extremists, but the majority of vegans were compassionate, regular people.
"We all have jobs and have taken time off to come here today," Ms Holly said.
"We are peaceful, nonviolent and we don't look down on other people.
"My whole family eat meat and I don't feel differently towards them.
"We just want to raise awareness and get people to see the animals and hear their story," she said.
South Burnett resident Ludy Benecke said she disagreed with what the animal activists were doing in the South Burnett.
"I don't think protests are effective, especially in a town like Kingaroy," Ms Benecke said.
"Pork is a really big source of income for the town, both for farmers, the factory and people of the town.
"There's no point protesting in a town like Kingaroy where Swickers does a lot of good for Kingaroy," she said.
As the vigil took place, people from inside the grounds of Swickers were watching the group from the fence line.
Animal activists from Brisbane Animal Save planned to hold the vigil out the front of the local bacon factory until late afternoon today.