EXTREME animal activists who invade and trespass on farms may face maximum fines of $220,000 individually and $440,000 for corporations under tough new penalties.
The penalties are the harshest across the nation and they come as part of a new offence under the Biosecurity Act, Deputy Premier John Barilaro announced on Monday.
Those found guilty of creating biosecurity risks from trespassing may also be handed an on-the-spot $1000 fine.
The new penalties will start on August 1 and are the first stage of a broader suite of measures being developed by the government to protect farmers' right to farm.
Mr Barilaro, who made the announcement with Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall at Corowa, said farmers have had a "gutful".
"Vigilantes who are entering our farmers' property illegally are nothing short of domestic terrorists," Mr Barilaro said.
"They don't deserve nor have time to be dealing with illegal trespass and vile harassment from a bunch of virtue-signalling thugs."
Mr Barilaro said the government is also looking at ways to further deter this behaviour, including introducing legislation and potential jail time for offenders.
The penalties come after animal rights activists staged a series of invasions earlier this year.
Under the changes to the Biosecurity Regulation 2017 in the Act, it will become mandatory for site visitors to comply with a biosecurity management plan.
Anyone who enters a designated biosecurity area without permission and without complying with the plan's requirements may be guilty of an offence and subject to the new, harsher penalties.
The penalties have been welcomed by NSW Farmers Wagga president Alan Brown.
"I'm pleased they're [introducing] these penalties now as they better reflect the potential for damage that people can do," Mr Brown said.
"People go in without having any idea what they're doing and can destroy a business overnight, which can take a lifetime to set up for farmers."
Mr Brown said more education alongside deterrence is needed.
"Most rational people understand the work of farmers," he said.
"But we still need more work on education as we deter these lunatic on the fringes."
Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall said: "These thugs are not only harassing and traumatising hard-working farmers and their families, they're also posing serious biosecurity risks by potentially bringing contaminants and diseases onto properties that could wipe out an entire farming operation."
Earlier this year, Federal Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud urged all state governments to increase trespassing penalties.
Anti-farm trespass laws at the federal level were also introduced to parliament earlier this year.
To access the new state offence, farmers will need to have a biosecurity plan in place and appropriate signage.
Farmers are encouraged to contact the Department of Primary Industries or their Local Land Services office for more information.