Vegan activist tells of death threats after guilty plea
A prolific animal rights activist who has previously faced dozens of charges relating to animal 'rescues' from farms and abattoirs has pleaded guilty to unlawfully entering a piggery and an egg production facility.
Leah Ava Whetton, who has more than 40,000 Instagram followers across her pages and shares regular updates about break ins and protest activity at farming facilities, today pleaded guilty to break ins at the Williams Eggs farm at Canningvale and the Cameron Pastoral Co piggery at Pittsworth last year.
Whetton, 30, is a prominent animal rights activist and the founder of Meat the Victims, a group which described itself as a "new generation of the growing community of citizens willing to disobey unjust laws together to abolish animal exploitation".
The group is well known for staging sit ins and protests at farming facilities. Whetton's Instagram page includes dozens of photos of her holding animals including chickens and piglets inside the facilities and later after the 'rescues'.
Whetton faced the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Wednesday in relation to the two unlawful entry charges in which she entered the biosecurity-restricted facilities on separate dates and handled animals including piglets and chickens.
Defence barrister Nathan Edridge said the court could be confident Whetton would not continue with unlawful protest activities and had "no intention" of reoffending.
He said Whetton and her family had received death threats for her activism.
"My client has suffered some ill effects… and had things like death threats made to her and her mother and things like personal details being released so your honour might take into account she has suffered some extra curial punishment as a result of this offending," he said.
"One of these matters included a phone call where my client was threatened to have her fingers cut off and her jaw broken."
He said Whetton was currently studying to be a life coach, had completed certificates in fitness and nutrition and ultimate hoped to open a wellness centre to have "positive effect on the vegan movement" and "show you can be healthy without harming animals".
Whetton previously worked in the real estate industry and recently reapplied for her real estate licence but it was declined on character grounds due to her activism
She now works as a receptionist in that industry.
Whetton was fined $1000 and no conviction was recorded.
Whetton was supported by a large group of animal rights campaigners both inside and outside court who held up signs promoting animal welfare.
Originally published as Vegan activist tells of death threats after guilty plea