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Be prepared for unwanted visitors on the farm

May 17, 2019
By Keith Currie, President, Ontario Federation of Agriculture
 
Trespassing on farm property is a growing concern for Ontario farmers. From rural trail hikers detouring into a pasture to ATV drivers ruining crops, farmers have dealt with all types of unwanted visitors on the farm who leave varying degrees of damage. The latest threat to farmers, especially livestock farmers and transporters is the increasing risk of activists trespassing, invading, breaking into barns and harassing farmers, their families and employees.
 
The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is reminding all Ontario farmers to be aware of these ongoing threats and take precautions to prevent, or at least mitigate the consequences of any trespassers that threaten regular farm activities, farmers, their families or employees.
 
OFA is encouraging all farmers to be prepared for unwanted visitors on your farm by:
  • Post No Trespassing signs and any necessary biosecurity signs to clearly mark private property.
  • Lock all building doors and vehicles. Remove keys from tractors and equipment and store them somewhere safe.
  • Monitor visitors and watch for suspicious vehicles or activities on or around farm property.
  • Consider adding video surveillance to barns or high traffic areas of the farm.
  • Train family and employees how to respond to unwanted visitors and situations that would require calling police.
OFA is working with our agricultural industry partners to raise awareness of this serious on-farm issue and lobby our provincial government to ensure the safety of Ontario’s farm families and their employees. We’re also asking for stronger enforcement of animal activists who are conducting these illegal and threatening activities. Farmers, their families and employees are becoming increasingly frightened and frustrated.
 
OFA reminds farmers to be prepared and call police if necessary. We’re all facing this threat of activists and trespassers together. And we’re asking farmers to add their voice to an online letter campaign that will send a letter directly to your MPP to register your concern for the growing threat of animal activism.
 
Add your voice today by visiting actnow.ofa.on.ca. Follow the simple instructions to sign your name to a letter that urges the provincial government to deliver better police protection and stronger enforcement against animal activists to ensure the safety of our farms, our families and our employees.
 
Source: OFA