The Animal Agriculture Alliance has a long track record of promoting the implementation of science-based animal care guidelines and proper employee training on animal care and handling on farms and in processing facilities. The overwhelming majority of American farmers and ranchers adhere to nationally accepted animal care guidelines and demonstrate their commitment to their animals and their land on a daily basis.
In recent years, the Alliance has become concerned about the growing number of activist groups that are intentionally hiring individuals to seek illicit employment on farms and in processing plants solely for the purpose of capturing video tape to help drive their vegan animal rights agenda. Some of the recent videos have captured the mishandling of animals that is absolutely not condoned by national farm animal care guidelines or the policies of the individual farm or company.
As these videos achieve the publicity sought by the groups, the Alliance is concerned that the activist employees providing the tapes are not held accountable for their failure to follow company animal care policies and their failure to immediately report mistreatment to the farm owners or managers. Instead, the videos are produced and released directly to the media - often months later - allowing the alleged mistreatment to continue while the activists plan their strategic media campaign. These actions lead to concerns about the possibility that some of the alleged cruelty shown could be staged strictly for the purpose of making the video.
Another concern of grave importance to farm animal owners and to national security is the possibility these same tactics could be employed by individuals or groups seeking a very different agenda - the deliberate contamination of our national food supply. The Department of Homeland Security has recognized agriculture and food production as critical components of our national infrastructure and national security. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that business owners continue to strengthen the security of their facilities and improve employee hiring procedures and operations to ensure that the food supply is not made vulnerable.
The Alliance strongly encourages, and will assist with as possible, a thorough investigation of all reports of mistreatment, and if the investigation information confirms that acts of animal cruelty occurred, then all individuals involved should be held accountable, disciplined, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law - including those who participated in such acts solely for the purpose of recording them.
The Alliance strongly encourages all farm animal owners to implement animal care guidelines, provide employee training, and establish animal care policies holding all employees accountable for their actions.
For more information on what you can do to protect against illicit employment by activists, the Alliance has developed a report called Farm and Facility Security Recommendations. Alliance Gold level members can obtain a copy of this document from our password protected Members page of our Web site. All others interested in obtaining a copy should contact the Alliance at firstname.lastname@example.org.