Farm security tips: On-farm visitors
By: Dairy MAX
With the rise of animal activism across the country, it is more important than ever to remain vigilant in protecting your farm. Animal right activists are a small but active group with the goal to end ALL animal agriculture and who are willing to break the law, and in some cases, risk their own lives to do so.
Part of the Dairy MAX crisis plan is to work alongside dairy farmers and allied industry partners to monitor potential threats in a variety of ways, with the overall goal to protect dairy farmers’ ability to do business and feed the world.
There are many reasons to consider legitimate farm visits, but, out of an abundance of caution, it is wise to only accept farm visitors identified by a known person or group. Activists will lie to get access to your farm or facility, so trust your gut instinct. If something feels off, it probably is. Any cold call or caller should be turned away from the farm. There are two simple and reasonable reasons to give in response to unexpected visitors:
- Biosecurity – Keeping your animals safe is your number one priority. On-farm guests can potentially introduce unwanted pathogens.
- Time – A good on-farm experience takes time away from the already long workday of the farmer, time that is already planned. A farm is a business, and the public does not have the right to intrude on a business during work.
Dairy farmers and partners across the dairy value chain can take steps to protect both individual operations and the entire industry by following measures to reinforce basic farm security.
- Start by being beyond reproach, implementing science-based animal care and environmental practices striving for continuous improvement.
- Make yourself a harder target with no trespassing signs, gates, locks, fencing and consider security cameras or motion-sensor lighting.
- Be cautious with hiring. Activists are constantly trying to get hired on farms and in plants. Have a formal process for hiring and stick to it, one which includes thoroughly checking references.
- Have a proactive discussion with local law enforcement about the threat of animal rights activism.
Remember, animal rights activists are a small but active group of people. The majority of the public trusts farmers, which is why it is important to continue building trust and sharing your stories.
Contact Dairy MAX at https://www.dairymax.org/ for biosecurity signs for your dairy farm, additional details on the tips provided, or to discuss on-farm visitors more thoroughly.