Ag attorneys outline some best practices to protect livestock producers
As the livestock industry faces increasing pressure from animal rights groups, two ag attorneys have recommendations to help producers protect their farms from litigation.
Brianna Schroeder is a partner at Indiana-based Janzen Schroeder Ag Law.
“Keep an eye on your state laws—trespass laws are passed by state but they can implicate the federal constitution and so that’s something you want to keep an eye on” she says. “Also, Right to Farm Act can be a great defense if you are sued for either nuisance, negligence, trespass, all different sorts of things,” she says.
She says producers targeted by litigation should work with state and national industry groups and keep detailed records.
Michelle Pardo, partner with at Duane Morris LLP, says livestock producers should have an effective training and compliance program.
“If you have policies in place and you do them it will go a really long way in litigation,” she says. “If you are saying you’re doing certain welfare measures at your farm and then you don’t do them, that actually makes you more vulnerable in these types of cases.”
She says producers should provide written notice of falsity to animal rights groups if they are misrepresenting their farm, and contact authorities if there is an intrusion, and quantify any damage.
Schroeder and Pardo spoke during the recent Animal Ag Alliance Virtual Summit.