Australia’s feedlots requesting laws on spy drones

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Don Mackay, president of the Australian Lot Feeders Association, is asking the Australian Law Reform Commission to reconsider how privacy laws are defined as technology evolves.

The request by Mackay is in response to an animal welfare group who has invested $14,000 in a robotic drone to record practices at livestock operations in Australia. Animal Liberation executive director Mark Pearson said earlier this year his group will operate the drone within the law, but Mackay argues those laws don’t account for new technologies like the drones.

ABC reports the Australian Lot Feeders Association has made a submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission's inquiry into 'Serious Invasions of Privacy in the Digital Era.'

Mackay asks for laws addressing drones to ensure people’s rights are properly protected. He has no problem with visitors on his property, but would rather they come in through his front door.

His concern with the group operating the drone is in their intent.

"If you've got an organization with an agenda to send you out of business, not necessarily related to welfare, but related to liberation of animals, or not using animals in commercial activity at all, and they sort of fly into your property and potentially in fact cause welfare issues, I think the law needs to be able to deal with that," Mackay said.

A final report by the commission will be completed by June 2014.

The animal welfare group has already recorded footage of a free-range egg farm and said it plans to use the equipment to monitor feedlots and export facilities as well.



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