Home > Animal Welfare, Federal Government, HSUS, Pictures, State Government, Videos > Animal Abuse, Video and Responsibility

Animal Abuse, Video and Responsibility

I just read and article, “Iowa House Agrees To Prohibit Secret Animal Abuse Videos“. I did a post a few weeks ago on this subject, “Photos, Private Property and Politics” and have been thinking on the matter further. When thinking about current legislation being proposed in a number of states on the matter of video taping on farms, ranches and processing establishments I think there are four basic factors to consider when drafting legislation.

1. Trespassing – Plain and simple, if someone trespasses on private property, urban, rural, home, ranch or business, it should be a felony, period. As a misdemeanor, cases of trespass are often not even prosecuted and when they are, are more often than not plead out or dropped. People who trespass are directly violating another individuals personal rights and freedoms and should not be tolerated.

2. Biosecurity – Individuals who are working for groups with agendas that promote animal rights and would like to see the elimination of animal agriculture do not consider the health risks to animals which they claim to be in support of. No two farms or ranches are the same and individuals, sneaking from farm to farm, can easily carry viruses and bacteria on their clothing and place the health of animals at risk. It is especially concerning when individuals may go from an auction yard, which host a multitude of vectors for diseases and then enter a farm or ranch, carrying with them, that which was picked up at the yard. Not to mention, many of these so-called videographers have filmed over seas, in countries with diseases that we do not want re-introduced here.

3. Management – Individuals who are in charge of hiring and firing the workforce need to be diligent in two particular areas. First, be diligent in doing background checks and talking to references. Make certain the people you hire are of the proper disposition and integrity to work with animals. Second, be diligent in training employees in the proper handling techniques to ensure that all animals are treated with the proper care. Make sure all employees are familiar with the equipment and know how to handle situations in which animals can be stressed or in distress due to injury or illness.

4. Verification – In operations and facilities that have large workforces, install cameras so that all aspects can be monitored to ensure that proper handling techniques are being utilized and identify people, equipment and situations that can be improved on behalf of the welfare of the animal. Being able to monitor the day-to-day operations can be invaluable when it comes to reducing stress of both people and animals and identifying areas that are in need of upgrade, repair or re-design.

Finally, employees who see issues that are of concern, should have a clear understanding of how to report those concerns immediately, so they can be addressed and fixed. A clear chain of command should exist on all farms and ranches. Should the matter not be addressed, then the appropriate authorities should be notified.

Any operation that fails to do proper background checks, fails to properly train employees, fails to monitor day-to-day operations closely, fails to address issues of concern deserves any and all legal action afforded their actions as is pertinent for the state which they do business. Likewise, individuals who trespass, put the health and welfare of animals in jeopardy for the sole purpose of shooting a video to further the agenda of radical animal rights groups, should also be prosecuted to fullest extent of applicable law.

  1. CRG
    April 7, 2011 at 11:17 AM

    I would add to that: anyone who stages abuse or ‘creatively edits’ a video in order to make it look like abuse is happening in a situation where it is not should be prosecuted for fraud and sued for slander/defamation.

    Having security cameras in your operation could help tremendously in such a suit.

    • Ash Lee
      April 7, 2011 at 6:40 PM

      I agree with you entirely! Business, most certainly agriculture businesses, should be see-through. They can’t find abuse when you have videos posted about your farm or facility. It can even catch people perpetrating abuse in the act, or at least on tape. If you have nothing to hide, let it show.

  2. April 15, 2011 at 6:41 PM

    I agree that farms should be see-through, I do not agree with current merchandizing that propogates myths about actual living conditions for animals on farms today. We are a far cry from rolling pastures and idyllic scenes these days, are we not? Judging by what I can see in my own area, definitely not. Farms should be able to stand by what they do, their work is so important to us all.

    A vegetable farmer I know has to hire workers that have no interest in preserving the land, nor in handling practices of most farm equipment in general. Why does the farmer do this? He cannot afford to hire workers more qualified, and there is little interest from the younger generation to take over.
    In order to work on many farms today, one must not care too much about the animals. It would be a very difficult job then, would it not? What is “care” to an animal destined for slaughter? How to convince the younger generation that there is nothing to hide, when so much media is devoted to farm animal abuse? A recent letter written to our “Better Farming” magazine here in Canada, written by a grade 11 student, decried factory farming. Where is this bias coming from? If farmers don’t step up and say “We are proud of what we do, and how we do it”, who will? Farm practices must be aimed towards profit. The public’s perception is that it is at the animal’s expense. Change that. I do believe that most farms/farmers are not like the ones I see everyday. But that is only my hope.
    Thank you.

  3. May 3, 2011 at 7:54 AM

    Hello Jeff,

    I’ve been enjoying your thoughtful blog. We have a dairy farm in Michigan. I was wondering if you’d consider checking it out and adding it to your blog roll? http://truthordairy.blogspot.com/ Thank you – I hope your May is starting off right!

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