Responding To Animal Rights Activists

Animal rights activists are continually breaking onto farms. They’re trespassing, putting biosecurity at risk, and even taking animals with them. Their social media presence and videos are designed to generate maximum attention.

Casey Kinler is the communications manager for the Animal Agriculture Alliance. She says preventing this from happening on your farm starts by being vigilant.

"Putting in motion sensor lighting, having cameras that are visible, that’ll detract some people from walking on your property. Having those no trespassing signs visible and things of that nature," says Kinler. "And you know, being a good farmer and being a good voice in your community can also help you out in the long run."

Get to know your local police. Invite them to your farm so they know what they’re dealing with if you ever have to call them. If you find infiltrators on your property, avoid getting into a confrontation or even recording them on your phone.

"Most frequently, they are recording you, so keep that in mind," she says. "They’re either doing a Facebook live, or they have a small camera on themselves, so you want to make sure not to lose your temper because then that will be what the community sees, what they post on social media, and it’ll put a bad image out there for the industry as a whole. So, you don’t want to engage, you automatically just call law enforcement and let them do their job."

Kinler says activists use social media to their advantage because they know a lot of people don’t come from a farming background or understand how their food is produced. This is another reason farmers need to tell their story and communicate with consumers on how they raise their animals.

Find more tips for dealing with farm activists