Defining events in the history of Farm Transparency Project

Early days


Initial Ideas - While volunteering with Animal Liberation ACT & Animal Liberation NSW, the idea for the Aussie Farms Map (now called the Farm Transparency Map) was conceived when FTP's founding director Chris Delforce realised the levels of secrecy investigators dealt with when attempting to expose animal cruelty. The map begun development, with access limited to a small group of trusted investigators.


Wally's Piggery Campaign - This sow-stall-free pig farm was in complete filth and disrepair, with many piglets and sows suffering injuries or death due to beatings by employees, the crumbling structure, and a high prevalence of disease. The owner bludgeoned his pigs to death with a sledgehammer for private sale. Over two months in 2012, Chris, working with Animal Liberation ACT, collected visual evidence, and launched it publicly through a new website, Aussie Pigs (now retired). The footage garnered significant media coverage and shocked the Australian public, with even the pig farming industry's peak body Australian Pork Limited distancing itself and claiming that the facility was not representative of Australian pig farming. Eventually, the pressure led to Wally's Piggery closing down.

Wally's Piggery NSW
Wally's Piggery NSW, 2012

Piggery Investigations - In response to the pig industry's claims, Chris and a small team investigated dozens more piggeries and slaughterhouses across Australia, revealing the horrific reality of legal, standard-practice operations. Each was published on the Aussie Pigs website. A shed full of screaming sows confined to 'sow stall' cages in Lansdowne Piggery (Young NSW) inspired Chris to start work on a feature length documentary about the industry, entitled Lucent. During a subsequent investigation into the nearby Blantyre Piggery, hidden cameras were found, and the piggery's owner and workers laid a trap. Upon returning to retrieve the cameras, Chris's car was destroyed, and he and his team were hunted for over five hours before managing to get away safely.

Public launch & Lucent release


Aussie Farms Launch - Aussie Farms (now Farm Transparency Project) launched with world-first footage of carbon dioxide gas chambers, captured at the Rivalea slaughterhouse in Corowa NSW; at the time, the largest pig slaughterhouse in the southern hemisphere. For decades, the pig farming industry had been calling carbon dioxide gas chambers the most "humane" way to stun pigs prior to slaughter. They told consumers the pigs just gently fell asleep. Investigators revealed the violent reality, with pigs seen screaming, thrashing, and desperately trying to escape the chamber.

Lucent Release - In October 2014, Lucent was released as a culmination of two and a half years of investigating piggeries and slaughterhouses across Australia. The film contains footage from over 50 farms and slaughterhouses, much of which had never been seen before.

Screening of Lucent in Canberra, October 2014
Screening of Lucent in Canberra, October 2014

Police Raids - In response to the exposure of cruelty in piggeries and slaughterhouses and the release of Lucent, the homes of Chris Delforce in Adelaide and fellow investigator Dori Kiss in Sydney were raided by police on 12 June 2015. The police seized computers, phones, hard drives, camera equipment and clothing, and ultimately charged both Chris and Dori with offences under the Surveillance Devices Act 2007 (NSW) carrying a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment. This was the first time this law, intended to protect the privacy of citizens, had been used as 'ag-gag' to punish the exposure of animal cruelty in commercial settings, and more broadly was Australia's first ag-gag case. A trial was set for August 2017.

Thousand Eyes - In response to the raid, Chris downloaded his existing published material and created the short video Thousand Eyes, as a powerful and emotive overview of animal farming and slaughter. The video was quickly adopted by activists in Australia and around the world for use in newly-emerging forms of street outreach, influencing the creation of groups such as Anonymous for the Voiceless.

'Thousand Eyes' - Australian animal agriculture
'Thousand Eyes' - Australian animal agriculture
Published Sep 2017

Dominion Announcement - In late 2015, Aussie Farms announced that they would be making a second feature length documentary, this time exposing the entire animal-use industry in Australia. This film - Dominion - was a further response to the raids and charges, which activists saw as an attempt to silence and oppress those who sought to expose the reality of animal farming.

Pig Truth - In December 2015, members of Animal Liberation Victoria chained themselves to the gas chamber at Diamond Valley Pork slaughterhouse in Laverton, Victoria. This action coincided with the release of damning pig slaughter footage from multiple Victorian slaughterhouses, captured by Animal Liberation Victoria and Animal Liberation NSW. Aussie Farms was a significant collaborator behind the scenes in both the investigation and action.


Chick Maceration - In June 2016, Aussie Farms founder Chris Delforce hid inside the maceration room overnight at the country's largest hatchery for the egg-laying industry, capturing with a handheld camera the shredding of newborn male chicks. The following month, this Australian-first footage was released publicly in collaboration with Animal Liberation NSW. Shortly afterwards, in an action organised by Aussie Farms, around 100 activists from across the country converged on the facility in Huntly, Victoria, with 21 entering the hatchery by surprise and halting operations for two hours in an effort to draw further public attention to the inherent cruelty of the egg industry. Over 150 male chicks - some just seconds from being killed - were rescued and are now living out their lives, happily and healthily, with experienced carers.

Activists enter and shut down SBA Hatchery VIC - 21 July 2016
Activists enter and shut down SBA Hatchery VIC - 21 July 2016
Captured 2016
Published Oct 2017

March to Close All Slaughterhouses - Chris speaks at the Melbourne March to Close all Slaughterhouses on 11 March about his experiences investigating and exposing farms and slaughterhouses across Australia.

Chris Delforce's speech at the March To Close All Slaughterhouses, Melbourne 2017
Chris Delforce's speech at the March To Close All Slaughterhouses, Melbourne 2017
Captured 2017
Published Feb 2024

Aussie Farms Repository Launch - Aussie Farms launched a groundbreaking new website, the Aussie Farms Repository, an enormous database/gallery of thousands of photos, videos, documents, campaign materials, facilities and companies relating to commercial animal exploitation in Australia, allowing users to contribute and upload their own materials and information.

Dominion Launch & Direct Action


Dominion Launch - Dominion premiered on 29 March 2018 with a sold out event at the Astor Theatre in St Kilda, Melbourne. This event was quickly followed with screenings across Australia and around the world. The film was greeted with outrage and acclaim, receiving the following awards:

  • Award of Excellence - Special Mention: Accolade Global Film Competition 2018
  • Best Documentary Feature - Hollywood International Moving Pictures Film Festival 2018
  • Best Picture - Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Awards 2018
  • Best Trailer/Promo - Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Awards 2018
  • Best Original Music Score - Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Awards 2018
  • Best Director - Documentary Feature - Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Awards 2018
  • Best of the Month: Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards 2018
  • Award of Excellence: Story - Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards 2018
  • Award of Excellence: Trailer/Promo - Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards 2018
  • Award of Excellence: Writing - Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards 2018 (Awarded to: Chris Delforce)
  • Award of Excellence: Director - Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards 2018 (Awarded to: Chris Delforce)
  • Award of Excellence: Music/Score: Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards 2018 (Awarded to: Asher Pope)
  • Award of Excellence: Narration: Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards 2018 (Awarded to: Joaquin Phoenix, Rooney Mara, Sia, Sadie Sink, Kat Von D, Chris Delforce)
  • Best Documentary Feature - Festigious International Film Festival 2018
  • Best Director - Festigious International Film Festival

Dominion March - On 28 April 2018, one month after the Dominion world premiere, 3000 people took the streets of Melbourne for Australia's largest animal rights march to date. Giant screens showed footage from Dominion while march participants used laptops, tablets and TVs to share the reality of Australian farming to the public.

Dominion Animal Rights March - 28 April 2018
Dominion Animal Rights March - 28 April 2018
Captured 2018
Published Feb 2024

Strathalbyn Slaughterhouse Action - In September 2018, activists from Aussie Farms occupied the roof of Strath Meats in South Australia, a facility which featured heavily in Dominion. The action gained significant news coverage and shut down operations for a full day. Activists remained on the roof for 18 hours before coming down voluntarily after the slaughterhouse surrendered a sheep who would otherwise have been killed.

Activists occupy the roof of Strath Meats, South Australia - September 2018
Activists occupy the roof of Strath Meats, South Australia - September 2018

Luv-A-Duck Slaughterhouse Action - In November 2018, around 70 activists from six states converged on the Luv-A-Duck slaughterhouse in Nhill, Victoria, in an action coordinated by Aussie Farms and Bear Witness Australia. Large banners were spread across the rooftop and shell pools were filled with water, before activists began removing ducks from the slaughter line so that they could swim for the first time in their lives. After halting the slaughter line for two hours, activists asked to take the 19 randomly selected ducks who had been given the chance to swim, rather than having them sent back to slaughter - but police and Luv-A-Duck management refused, forcing activists to grab the ducks and run. All 19 were given homes with experienced carers.

'Kill-a-Duck': Activists raid Luv-a-Duck slaughterhouse
'Kill-a-Duck': Activists raid Luv-a-Duck slaughterhouse
Captured 2018
Published Dec 2018

The Farm Transparency Map - In development for over 8 years, the Farm Transparency Map is a comprehensive, interactive map of factory farms, slaughterhouses and other animal exploitation facilities across Australia, integrated with the Repository website. Launched publicly by Aussie Farms in January 2019, the map generated significant controversy, leading to months of media coverage and political commentary.

Chris Delforce debates President of National Farmers Federation on national TV
Chris Delforce debates President of National Farmers Federation on national TV
Captured 2019
Published Feb 2024

Dominion Anniversary Action - On 8 April 2019, Aussie Farms and Vegan Rising organised a series of coordinated actions across Australia, shutting down slaughterhouses and bringing the centre of Melbourne CBD to a standstill. The action gained enormous media coverage both nationally and internationally, and was publicly condemned by Australia's right-wing Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, who offered government assistance to any farmers wanting to sue Aussie Farms. Following this action, online views of Dominion skyrocketed, and the question of whether we can justifiably use animals for human profit was debated far and wide.

Dominion Anniversary Action - 8 April 2019
Dominion Anniversary Action - 8 April 2019
Captured 2019
Published Feb 2024

Picton investigation - The brutal slaughter of pigs, sheep, goats and cows at Picton slaughterhouse in NSW, captured by an undercover investigator from Animals Within and released collaboratively with Aussie Farms, led to articles in Unilad, the Daily Mail and 7 News which highlighted how the footage was "shocking but legal."

Federal Senate Inquiry - Aussie Farms made a submission to a federal Senate inquiry in relation to a new proposed ag-gag law, the Criminal Code Amendment (Agricultural Protection) Bill, with a passionate appearance by founder Chris Delforce in front of the committee. Ultimately, the bill passed, but has not yet been used to charge any animal advocates.

Victorian Inquiry Into the Impact of Animal Activism - Under pressure from an industry that had been subject to ongoing investigations and public scrutiny, the Victorian government launched a parliamentary inquiry into the impact of animal activism on Victorian animal agriculture. John Gommans, a notorious goat farmer whose farm Gippy Goat had been the focus of a high-profile protest in late 2018, was a key figure in the industry's push for stronger protections against protest and exposure. In presenting to the inquiry, Aussie Farms founder Chris Delforce played footage captured just days earlier at Gommans' main farm, Cibus Goats, depicting the brutal slaughter of baby male goats.

Many groups made submissions to the inquiry which spoke of the dangerous precedent that would be set if the government chose to restrict those who were exposing a matter of public interest. Despite this, only the Greens and the Animal Justice Party voted against harsher restrictions, which were ultimately passed. This resulted in the Livestock Management Amendment (Animal Activism) Bill which came into effect on 1 July 2022 and has been referred to as Victoria's first ag-gag law.

Goat Disbudding at Meredith Dairy - Aussie Farms captured damning footage of the painful disbudding of newborn goats at a farm owned by Meredith Dairy, a company that promoted itself as ethical.

The Final Race - Aussie Farms investigators assisted behind the scenes in capturing evidence of the slaughter of ex-racehorses for an explosive report on ABC's 7.30, entitled The Final Race.



Name Change - In mid 2020, Aussie Farms officially became Farm Transparency Project (FTP), signalling a new era for the organisation and reflecting our core mission to force industry transparency and educate consumers by shining a light on the brutal reality endured by animals in the name of profit.

Melbourne Animal Rights Centre (MARC) - Shortly following the name change, FTP fundraised to buy an office space to serve as the Melbourne Animal Rights Centre and build a dedicated community hub for the animal rights movement. The centre in South Melbourne was inspired by the Berkeley Animal Rights Center in California, USA, which FTP's founder, Chris Delforce, visited in 2019.

COVID & Investigations - Not long after MARC was established, COVID hit the world, temporarily pausing the physical operations of FTP. Planning continued though and the team were to go on to deliver many successful investigations in between lockdowns, exposing Kaladbro Station sheep feedlot in Western Victoria, an illegal slaughterhouse in Koo Wee Rup which was still in operation despite having been investigated and reported a year earlier, the continued slaughter of racehorses in NSW knackeries in violation of the state's racing rules, violent dehorning and evidence of corruption at Wally's Piggery in NSW which was now operating as a beef cattle feedlot, and the factory farming and slaughter of turkeys in Victoria.


High Court Challenge - In early 2020, following repeated reluctance by NSW media outlets to cover matters of animal cruelty due to fear of prosecution under the Surveillance Devices Act 2007 (NSW), Farm Transparency Project launched a landmark High Court challenge against the law's ag-gag component. A successful crowdfunding campaign enabled FTP to hire a top-class legal team.

Drop Croc - In late 2021, Farm Transparency Project exposed the factory farming and slaughter of native Australian crocodiles near Darwin, NT, leading to major coverage on current affairs program The Project, and underpinning a campaign by Kindness Project, a new offshoot of FTP.


High Court Challenge - The hearings for FTP's High Court challenge against ag-gag occurred across 10-11 February. In August, the High Court handed down its decision of a narrow 4:3 majority of judges to not answer the key question of whether media outlets were impermissibly burdened by the law, due to Farm Transparency Project often being involved in both gathering and publishing the footage, and therefore not being an independent publisher. The implication was that if an independent media outlet were to run a similar case, it would likely win.

Sow Stalls & Dingoes - In September 2022, FTP released an investigation into sow stalls in Victorian piggeries, proving that they were still in widespread use, 5 years after the industry's deadline for phasing them out. This investigation resulted in media coverage in the Guardian and ABC. In November, a Farm Transparency Project investigation revealed the brutal trapping and killing of dingoes by the Victorian government. This footage featured in a piece on ABC's 7:30 and sparked an ongoing campaign by wildlife advocacy coalition Defend the Wild (formerly Kindness Project).

Dominion Outreach Melbourne - In November 2022, FTP began a new street outreach program sharing footage from Dominion and subsequent FTP investigations, as well as our newly developed Behind Closed Doors leaflet. Dominion Outreach Melbourne (DOM) carries on the long history of Farm Transparency Project's footage being used in street outreach, which started with Thousand Eyes in 2015.


Ban Gas Chambers

From January to March, FTP investigated all three pig slaughterhouses with gas chambers in the state of Victoria. Wanting to expose this issue on a level that had never been done before, we hid Chris inside a pig gassing chamber for over 9 hours so that he could film and photograph the gassing of pigs on a professional handheld camera, undetected by workers mere metres away, before walking out of the facility dressed as a maintenance worker.

We also hid ultra-high-definition cameras inside the chambers of the two other Victorian gas chambers, including Victoria's largest pig slaughterhouse, Diamond Valley Pork. This investigation led to significant media coverage, beginning with a 15-minute exclusive story on ABC's 7.30, and an accompanying long-form digital piece on ABC's website.

Stunned - ABC 7.30, March 27, 2023
Stunned - ABC 7.30, March 27, 2023
Captured 2023
Published Nov 2023

In June and October we released footage from two more gas chambers, in South Australia and NSW, sparking action in both states. So far, this campaign has led to the permanent closure of one of the slaughterhouses (the Australian Food Group facility where Chris hid inside the chamber) and formal investigations by government authorities of all others exposed. We have also secured a Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into pig welfare and confinement, including gas stunning and sow stalls, at which FTP representatives will be presenting evidence in early 2024.

In early December, Animals Australia - Australia's largest and most well-respected animal protection organisation - launched legal proceedings in the Supreme Court of Victoria, against the Victorian government's slaughterhouse regulator PrimeSafe, and the Benalla slaughterhouse, one of the three pig slaughterhouses we exposed earlier in the year. Animals Australia will be making the case that the use of gas chambers in Victorian pig slaughterhouses is in contravention of national legislation; if successful, this would force the closure of the remaining gas chambers in Victoria, and pave the way for similar challenges in other Australian states, which would effectively shut down most of the industry's slaughtering operations.

Week of Action and Dominion Animal Rights March

We followed up the campaign launch with a "Week of Action" across Australia which included actions at the offices of Australian Pork Limited and the Federal Department of Agriculture in Canberra, which further demonstrated their unwillingness to address the issue of pig gassing. The culmination of the Week of Action was the Dominion 5-year-anniversary Animal Rights March, the largest gathering of animal rights supporters in Australia since our last march organised in 2018.

Benalla Slaughterhouse Action

One week after we launched the Ban Gas Chambers campaign, on 13 April, we conducted a 10 hour lock-on action at Benalla slaughterhouses in Northern Victoria, one of the slaughterhouses we had investigated and exposed. This action led to to further national media coverage, including online, TV, radio and a statement from the Premier of Victoria, as well as increased public support for the Ban Gas Chambers campaign.

Big Pig Vigil

In October we organised the Big Pig Vigil, an overnight vigil outside Victoria's largest pig slaughterhouse, Diamond Valley Pork. Over 50 people attended the event with the intention to bear witness to pigs being transported to slaughter inside the facility. However, despite the event being completely legal and non-disruptive to the business, Diamond Valley Pork elected to shut down for over 24 hours while the vigil took place, forgoing an entire kill day in which they would normally kill 4000-6000 pigs, undoubtedly incurring significant costs as a result.

Shut Down Slaughterhouses

In July 2023, we pledged to investigate and expose 30 slaughterhouses over 2023 and 2024 in order to raise awareness of the reality of commercial animal slaughter, and force industry transparency. In 2023, we investigated 12 slaughterhouses across four states, revealing systemic animal abuse, and sparking a national conversation about the reality of animal slaughter.

South Australian Slaughterhouse Investigations

Across May and June, we spent two weeks in South Australia, investigating three slaughterhouses as part of the SDS campaign and capturing extensive footage of their operations, including significant animal abuse and illegal activity. These slaughterhouses were BMK Foods in Murray Bridge, Menzel's Meats in Kapunda and Snowtown slaughterhouse, which was previously exposed by investigators in 2017.


Across August and September 2023, our team of investigators entered and installed hidden cameras at five Tasmanian slaughterhouses, including two of the largest on the island. These included Tasmania's largest sheep and calf slaughterhouse, Tasmanian Quality Meats, and the biggest pig slaughterhouse on the island, Scottsdale Pork. We also investigated The Local Meat Co, Wal's Bulk Foods and Gretna Meatworks, all multi-species abattoirs which provide killing services for private kills and local butchers. Across all the slaughterhouses we investigated, we found repeated breaches of animal welfare regulations as well as outright cruelty and abuse, indicating an abject failure of Tasmanian regulators to enforce already-inadequate animal welfare standards. One of the slaughterhouses, The Local Meat Co, was partly owned by the 2024 Tasmanian of the Year, Stephanie Trethewey, resulting in numerous formal complaints that threatened to strip her of the title.

The investigation, which included footage of dozens of calves killed without stunning at TQM and cows, pigs and sheep being violently beaten by workers at Wal's, Scottsdale and The Local Meat Co, led to significant state and national media coverage, with the story being featured on major nightly TV news programs for five days in a row, and follow-up stories continuing into the new year as we released more footage from each facility..


Ongoing Tasmanian Slaughterhouse Exposure - We continued to release footage from the facilities throughout January 2024, leading to ongoing media coverage and increasing pressure on the state's conservative Liberal government.

Virtual Reality Tours - FTP launched a groundbreaking interactive virtual tour of a major Victorian piggery, using the latest in 360 camera technology to enable anyone to explore the entire piggery at their own pace, and bringing the tours to Dominion Outreach with virtual reality headsets. Additional virtual tours of slaughterhouses and other animal exploitation facilities were to follow.