Last week, an alert was issued to warn livestock producers about possible local activity by a radical animal rights group. The Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM), a radical fringe group, had planned attacks and protests against American agriculture on Friday. This prompted a warning from the Animal Ag Alliance. Hannah Thompson, with the Alliance, reported there were no major incidents on Friday, but producers need to be vigilant on the activities of these groups, “Every year on October 2nd the group FARM ramps up their activities to try and draw attention to their cause.” She added that the group had planned protests at several food processing plants and that the AAA had feared some producer operations could be targeted. The group also stepped up their anti-meat, vegan rhetoric on social media channels. No major incidents, however, were reported.
To help producers prepare, the Alliance has created a special animal security app for mobile devices. “It has a lot of the resources we have developed for producers and puts them within easy reach and quick access,” said Thompson. The app houses all of the Alliance’s farm and facility security resources, hiring advice and sample forms, and crisis management resources in one location accessible with desktop and mobile devices. It will also include text message and email alerts to disseminate time-sensitive, security information.
Thompson said, with animal rights groups becoming more and more aggressive, security is an issue producers and the industry need to take seriously. According to Alliance CEO Kay Johnson Smith, “Animal rights activist groups are using pressure campaigns to target retailers and restaurants to push for incremental changes towards a society in which animals are not used for food or fiber. The animal rights movement leaders may claim that they are concerned about animal welfare; but, in reality, they do not want humans to use animals for any purpose regardless of how well they are treated.”