Security needs to go beyond disease threats for livestock farms

Security on livestock farms is reaching new heights as animal activists become more of a threat.

Hannah Thompson-Weeman with the Animal Agriculture Alliance tells Brownfield radical transparency on farms can offer consumers a look into modern food production but needs to be done with caution.

“Being more transparent, showing more of what we do is something that the Alliance absolutely encourages.  We do need to be cautious and always think about anything you’re posting or sharing through the lens of what could someone do with this information to use against me?”

She recommends always including explanations on why practices are done and not giving away too much of the farm’s layout which could present security risks for activists seeking ways to get onto farms.

Michigan Allied Poultry Industries president Doug Dreyer says biosecurity postings and rules to keep visitors out of farms like his pullet operation aren’t meant to hide how birds are raised, but rather protect their health.

“Our biggest concern is the health and biosecurity of our animals so when you see that stuff, that has come from the avian outbreak of 2015.  We treat our animals with the utmost care, the utmost concern, the best facilities and offer the best training for our employees.”

Thompson-Weeman says security concerns have also evolved to more intensive employee hiring and training concerning animal welfare, safe technology use, and audits to ensure farms and livestock are protected not only from disease threats but also activists.

Brownfield interview with Hannah Thompson-Weeman during the Michigan Allied Poultry Industries Winter Seminar. 
Brownfield interview with Doug Dreyer during the Michigan Allied Poultry Industries Winter Seminar. 

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