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Gippy Goat Cafe, Yarragon

Gippy Goat closes

Gippy Goat closes

Gippy Goat Cafe, Yarragon

Gippy Goat Cafe announces its immediate closure

Owners of the Gippy Goat Cafe at Yarragon have announced its immediate closure after what they say was four months of harassment by animal rights activists.

Three women were charged following the theft of a lamb and three goats last December but there was community outrage when they received only a light sentence.

The owner John Gommans said in a social media statement that threats and abuse have continued since then, to the point that he and Penny no longer have the heart to continue.

They say the move will cost the jobs of eight people.

Eastern Victoria MP Melina Bath has called for a state government inquiry into an escalation of on-farm activism, which should be on the notice paper for debate next month.

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Posted on Facebook on Sunday morning by Gippy Goat Cafe:

The Gippy Goat Café has decided to close, so today will be our last day. We would like to thank our dedicated staff, our social media followers and loyal customers for your unfailing support but we do not have the heart to continue the café. This was not an easy decision to reach, however for the sake of our health and safety and that of our families and staff we feel that it is regrettably the best option.

Our staff and customers have been subjected to nearly 4 months of constant harassment, vile statements and threats from the abusive vegan activists. We have personally been subjected to an appalling stream of threats of extreme violence against ourselves, our family, our staff and even their families. Our 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. Our social media and review sites have been subjected to false information and artificially poor ratings.

The courts have proven to be ineffectual, the enforcement agencies declined to prosecute to the full extent, so, to the thieves, trespassers and activists; you have won. 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. Please know that your ignorant indignation, lust for outrage and the false reality you inhabit through your social media streams will prevent you from effecting any positive societal change - only harm to real human beings - and you only have yourselves to thank.

Our farm will continue to operate as before, but is no longer open to the public. We are truly sorry for any disappointment this may cause.

John & Penny

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