This time the target wasn't a livestock farm in Ohio. One or more Ohio operations were featured in supposedly undercover-recorded videos aired on national shows about abuses in the animal industry. Typically shot in black and white and including audio, the films catch livestock producers acting in rough and crude ways with animals.
The latest centered on Sparbee Farms in Minnesota, and wasn't a direct project of the Humane Society of the United States. Instead, it was produced and released by a group called 'Mercy for Animals.' ABC News aired the show on 20/20, its' popular news prime-time program, just a few weeks ago.
Several Indiana ag groups banded together to issue a joint statement on the event, and make people aware that these group are still active. The joint statement also included tips for dealing with the public, including potential employees. In some instances, these undercover videos are apparently obtained by people who pose for and obtain jobs at a livestock operation, all with the intent of gathering such video, which their group then attempts to get mileage form in convincing people that livestock producers don't care for or take good care of their animals.
Published in the Indiana Professional Dairy Producers E Newsletter, issued January 18, were these tips for livestock producers in general. They also include those who work with poultry operations. First, step back and review how you handle these critical areas: animal care policies and enforcement of the policies, and hiring practices on your farm.
Proper animal care policies should reflect the best management practices of your industry. For most producers today, those practices are already in place. However, it never hurts to review how various operations are handled on your farm. If workers or employees don't follow the practices you've established, then you need an enforcement plan that makes sure the employees follow the procedures you've set up.