Source: Wisconsin Dairy Business Association
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is seeking both English and Spanish speaking undercover investigators “to conduct field investigations in its focus areas—food, clothing, experimentation and entertainment.
Applicants must be willing to travel and stay on assignment for months at a time, and be competent in handling video and sound recording equipment. You can view the applications here and here.
To avoid being a target of these undercover sting operations, Dairy Management Inc.'s "ANTICIPATE. PREPARE. PROTECT." manual focuses on "Understanding and Preparing for Animal Activism on Dairy Farms."
- Your best defense is to hire the right people. As an employer, you can and should do background checks and reference checks and ask for Social Security cards and other hiring documents. If you're not sure, seek counsel from an employment lawyer.
- If you interview a potential employee who seems suspicious, share that information with other farmers in your area. Stop would-be activists from getting access to any farm.
- Once you've hired an employee, put him or her on probation for 30, 60 or 90 days, watching them closely. Partner each new hire with a trusted employee - the new employee will learn best practices for your dairy and you'll benefit from another set of eyes watching them closely.
- Don't be shy about asking other employees about the new worker. If something doesn't look or feel right, it probably isn't. Create a process for hiring and firing on your farm, and follow it closely.
Here are some additional suggestions from agriculture attorney David Cook:
- It is legal to ask a potential employee if he/she is a member of or if they support an animal rights organization. Ask during the interview or on the employment application.
- Other ways to screen employees: Ask if the prospective employee is living in transient housing; Ask how long they have been living in the area; Ask if they have experience working in agriculture.
- Require employees to sign a non-disclosure and confidentiality agreement. The agreement should include a clause for liquidated damages for taking or distributing photographs or video. If the employee violates the agreement, they may be subject to legal action and damages.
Another good resource on animal care is the See it? Stop it! program that can be found by visiting www.seeitstopit.org/