Harrowing moment breastfeeding baby is ripped from his mother's arms by Australian police

The harrowing moment Australian authorities ripped a breastfeeding baby away from his mother has been captured on video.

The woman was surrounded by police officers and support workers in bushland near Byron Bay, New South Wales last week.

Footage of the incident shows the authorities asking the mother multiple times to give up her 8-month-old baby boy.

"This is not right. This is my baby," the mother can be heard pleading with them.

"This is against human rights. Don't do this to him."

One of the officers tells her that they are going to have to "sort some stuff out" but they have to take the boy.

"There are safety concerns for the wellbeing of that baby," she said.

After a few minutes the situation appears to escalate as two police officers hold back the mother while support workers pull the boy from his mother's grasp as she screams.

Video from the scene has been posted to social media where it's been viewed thousands of times.

The boy's family have also set up a GoFundMe page which has already raised over $18,000.

"As Mothers, Fathers, Aunties, Uncles and Grandparents we can feel the trauma this separation is causing to our family," the family wrote in a statement.

"The acts that were made on the day by the police officers and dcj (docs) workers were not lawful and horrific! they have not informed us of the whereabouts of [our boy]."

They describe the boy as a "gumnut" baby - a reference to a book about babies who live in the bush.

The family said they live an organic lifestyle and had concerns he was now drinking from a bottle, being bathed in "artificial perfume" and chemicals, and "sleeping in a cot (prison cell)".

In a statement provided to 7News, a spokesperson from the Department of Communities and Justice said it "takes concerns about children's safety and wellbeing extremely seriously".

"At times, however, the public's concern is at odds with our statutory requirement to protect privacy.

"As a result, DCJ cannot comment on individual child protection matters."

The police did not specify why the baby was taken.