SCUGOG: The Township of Scugog is supporting proposed provincial legislation meant to protect farmers, their animals and crops from trespassers.

At a meeting on Monday, February 10th, Ward 4 Councillor Deborah Kiezebrink made a motion to have the township support the recently introduced Bill 156 – Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act, and to pass on the resolution to several provincial and municipal officials.

The purpose of the Bill, described in the provincial document, is to “eliminate or reduce the unique risks that are created when individuals trespass [on farms] or interfere with farm animals.”

As well as prohibiting people from entering farm properties without the permission of the owner, if passed, the Bill would also prohibit a person from stopping or hindering a driver from transporting farm animals.

In her motion, Councillor Kiezebrink noted, farms in Scugog are “private homes, where private citizens have the expectation that people cannot enter their homes without permission”, and “existing laws are not doing enough to protect farms and homes from the risk of unwarranted trespassers and activists.”

When given the opportunity to explain her motion, Councillor Kiezebrink said she heard “one story after another, with concerns expressed about their safety and the safety of our food”, from local farmers at an agricultural round table event. The motion was carried unanimously.