How many times can it be said? We live in a different world than our grandparents, or even our parents.

Bioterrorism, biosecurity and deliberate milk tampering have dairy managers and owners on notice that allowing anybody to walk onto a dairy at any time can have serious consequences. Combine those threats with vandals, general mischief-makers and old-fashioned cattle thieves, and it is no wonder dairy security has become an issue of significance.

The California Farm Bureau reports that many producers have taken notable steps to protect the safety of their operations, cows and milk.

Some have come after losses, and others as a proactive measure. But all actions have occurred to prevent the dairy from becoming the target of a crime, and many actions come with law enforcement endorsement.

The six most common procedures are:

  • Close off all external entrances so all traffic must come through a main area that can be video-monitored. Gate and lock secondary access roads.
  • Limit dairy access to non-employees.
  • Train employees to be observant of unusual activities and to be diligent about locking procedures.
  • Use of permanent cattle identification brands and tattoos — to help law enforcement officials track stolen animals, as well as aid in dairy record accuracy.
  • Lock milking parlors and offices.
  • Lock cattle facilities to make them inaccessible to trespassers.
  • Increase awareness of what’s going on on your dairy.

After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Or a devastating loss to your dairy.

California Farm Bureau