I recently heard about two separate incidents involving dairy farms and animal activists – one in Ontario and one in the U.S.
One of the incidents involved animal activists trespassing onto the farmer’s property and entering their dairy barn without permission to emphasize their disapproval of dairy farming and other producers in the industry.
While I respect the opinions and beliefs of others, and believe everyone has a right to vocalize their opinions and beliefs, I do not respect the choice these people made to enter this particular dairy barn without receiving permission from the farmer. Not only is this blatant trespassing, but further, it is an incidence that, despite the intentions of the protestors, actually put the wellbeing of the cattle at risk.
Why, you may ask?
In the world of agriculture, any type of livestock facility must adhere to strict biosecurity policies to ensure animals are protected from diseases and contamination. In livestock barns/buildings, there areas that are strictly sanctioned for farmer personnel only; there are specific clothing and footwear that must be worn prior to entering the area, for example, plastic booties, gloves, masks and coveralls; there are often check-in books for visitors to sign in and out to allow a farmer to monitor who, and possibly what, has been in their barns.
These are just a few examples of biosecurity practices, and they exist for a reason. Diseases can be airborne, and they can enter a herd from clothing or shoes that a person may be wearing who isn’t properly suited to enter the biosecure region.
So, when these protestors decided to waltz into this particular dairy barn, not only did they cause significant stress for the farmer by trespassing onto his farm, but further, they put the livelihood of the cattle at risk, too.
What’s the point of protesting against farming for the sake of animals if you’re potentially endangering them at the expense of your own ignorance?
Photo credit: <a href=”https://visualhunt.co/a1/0ddb0d”>pascalk</a> on <a href=”https://visualhunt.com/re3/c4a77ddb”>Visualhunt</a> / <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”> CC BY-NC-SA</a>