The Gippy Goat Café has closed its doors after months of harassment from vegan activists.
Owners John and Penny Gommans announced the closure on Facebook, confirming the café would cease operations on 7 April 2019.
“Our staff and customers have been subjected to nearly 4 months of constant harassment, vile statements and threats from the abusive vegan activists,” reads the statement. “We have personally been subjected to an appalling stream of threats of extreme violence against ourselves, our family, our staff and even their families.
“Staff have been subjected to daily threats and harassment by phone, and we cannot in good conscience ask them to continue working under such a condition.”
The Gommans also say their social media accounts and review sites were targeted by activists, who wrote negative reviews and submitted low ratings.
Eight staff members are now without employment, but were aware of the closure a month prior.
Seventy activists stormed the Gippsland farm in December 2018 and stole three goats and one lamb. In January, another goat was taken from the property.
While the farm will continue to operate, it will no longer be open to the public.
“Rejoice in your victory: eight good people are now without a job, families no longer can enjoy the good food and open space, and children can no longer interact with our animals. Society is the loser; the anonymous bullies, hypocrites, law breakers and self-professed paragons of moral and social justice have won.”
The announcement comes off the back of protests yesterday, where protesters shut down Flinders Street and targeted a number of abattoirs and farms across Victoria and Queensland.
There’s been a strong push to strengthen trespassing laws, and Prime Minister Scott Morrison has promised financial help for farms engaged in legal action against protestors.
“If there are pastoralists and farmers that are in a position to actually bring a civil action against these groups … then the Commonwealth is totally open to supporting them in a test case,” said Morrison.
Image credit Aaron Francis