Thursday, March 16, 2017
Protecting Ag and Your Ranch
I have a few Agri Guard sign if you want one come be the office and get it. ________________________________________ Protecting Ag and Your Ranch Protecting your operation from anti-ag activists is an increasing concern. The Animal Agriculture Alliance offers information and assistance through its website and phone app at security.animalagalliance.org Here they offer some practical advice. Vigilance is Key - Take these simple steps to strengthen facility security Activists operating as undercover employees, computer system sabotage, website hacking, destruction of property, vandalism, “liberation” of animals, and threats of poisoning food products in grocery stores are hallmarks of radical animal rights efforts to stop your company from doing what it’s supposed to do – sell products. Here are a few measures you can take to be vigilant: - Train your long time employees to be your “eyes and ears” for these kinds of behaviors and inform them they need to report potentially suspicious behavior or conversations to management. They can be your key to recognizing a plant and preventing your company from being the next victim of animal rights set-ups. - Pay attention to cafeteria or break room discussions about new hires who “don’t fit in” or those who seem to be overly curious about the company for a temp or short-timer. “Plants” may even hang out with employees off hours, again usually trying to find out more about the company and how it operates. - Also important - train your employees and inform them it is their duty and responsibility to report any mistreatment or mismanagement of animals to management. Any acts of cruelty should be stopped and prevented if possible, and all such acts should be reported. - Lastly, periodically operate your own undercover operation to ensure animals are being handled properly and company policies are being implemented. Mike's Advice: “Most importantly, know who is on your place and watch for suspicious behavior. Also, be very careful with strangers that want to take pictures or videos. Animal welfare is fundamental to the work we do as farmers and ranchers. It’s an ethical responsibility – for the animal and the safety of our food supply.” 1. Do the right thing. Implement scientifically-verified animal care programs. Conduct training, as well as in-house and third-party audits to ensure all policies are being followed at all times and by all employees. Act swiftly to correct any problems. 2. Be cautious. Thoroughly vet any new hires. Require that all employees, starting with new hires, sign an animal care code of conduct. Train your longtime employees to watch for suspicious behavior. 3. Plan ahead. Build relationships with your community, local law enforcement, and media. Create a crisis management plan in advance in the event that you become a target of an activist group. Three more things to keep in mind: - Trucks parked at plants or behind offices overnight are favorite targets for spray-painting, sand/sugar in gas tanks or vandalized engines. - Routinely back up your computer files. Add extra firewalls to your website and computer system. Store backup files for your system in a fireproof area. - If mail or packages appear suspicious, return them to the post office, unopened. Take precaution in opening all mail – some animal businesses have been targeted with razor blades hidden in envelopes. Don’t be paranoid, be vigilant.