Beware unwanted visitors What to do when trespassers show up on your dairy

October 14, 2009 07:00 PM

Following two recent incidents of unwanted visitors taking photos and asking to tour dairies in California's Central Valley this spring, the Fresno County Farm Bureau (FCFB) is urging producers there and elsewhere not to let their guard down.

"Be vigilant about who you're letting on your property,” says Ryan Jacobsen, FCFB's executive director. "If you see suspicious activity, contact law enforcement or your local Farm Bureau office.”

To protect your operation and the health and safety of your animals, remember these precautions:
  • Post "No trespassing” signs at your dairy's entrance and at least three per mile along exterior boundaries and all roads and trails entering your property. These signs build a stronger case for prosecuting trespassers.
  • Call local authorities if someone is trespassing. Don't approach the individual or threaten him or her in any manner. Do not try to detain trespassers or take their camera.
  • If they are taking pictures of you, take pictures of them, Jacobsen says. Record their vehicle's license plate number. Get an accurate description of the vehicle's make, model, color, and other distinguishing characteristics. Also note each individual's gender, height, weight, hair color and other attributes.
  • Remind your employees to keep an eye out for people who don't belong at your dairy. Ask your staff to report suspicious activity or trespassers to you or their supervisor. "Your employees are your eyes and ears,” Jacobsen says.

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