SCOLDED: Nicole Louise Powell, 27, was among 100 activists to storm a piggery last year and also took a piglet.
SCOLDED: Nicole Louise Powell, 27, was among 100 activists to storm a piggery last year and also took a piglet. Seven Sunshine Coast

Vegan's 'zealous' behaviour condemned after stealing piglet

"ZEALOUS" and "invasive" was how a Sunshine Coast magistrate labelled the behaviour of a woman who was among 100 vegans who stormed a piggery and took piglets.

The Maroochydore Magistrates Court heard Magistrate Haydn Stjernqvist completely condemn Nicole Louise Powell's decision to be a part of a large group to trespass on a piggery, likening it to "organised crime".

Police prosecutor Sergeant Phillip Stephens said Powell, 27, was among about 100 other activists who arrived in mini vans to Glassshouse Country Farms at Beerburrum and "storm" the breeding shed on December 1.

After three piglets were taken from the farm, Sgt Stephens said police found an image Powell posted to social media holding a piglet.

The caption on the photo said the piglet had been "liberated from a concentration camp" and was now loved and cared for.

Sgt Stephens said when approached by police for questioning, Powell declined to be interviewed.

He also highlighted the major biosecurity risks from the incident saying the pigs had to be blood tested at $600 each to check for disease.

While Sgt Stephens was telling the court of Powell's criminal history, Mr Stjernqvist addressed a man illegally recording the proceedings inside the courtroom with his phone pressed against his chest.

He was escorted out of the courtroom and the court heard he was Powell's boyfriend.

Defence lawyer, Ben Rynderman urged Mr Stjernqvist to keep an "objective view" of the incident and labelled it at the "lowest end of the criminal spectrum".

Mr Stjernqvist disagreed, saying it was "organised crime", "bullying" and "orchestrated".

"You can choose to be vegan but you can't bully people which is exactly what you do when you invade their space," he said.

"So what you do, and what all your friends do is premeditated... so suffer the consequences"

Powell was sentenced to 50 hours community service and no conviction was recorded.



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