Protecting animals, farms, food and consumer confidence was the theme during the Animal Agriculture Alliance Stakeholders Summit. More and more states are taking legislative matters when it comes to protecting farmers. And that was a hot topic addressed during the recent event held in Arlington, Virginia.
Joe Miller, General Counsel for Rose Acre Farms, spoke to attendees on farm protection legislation and how it actually promotes animal care. Misconceptions with these legislations have been that farmers have something to hide, but Joe helps explain that they are designed to shelter farmers from unlawful accusations. He also stated the need to better understand our consumers and not expect them to simply understand us.
“Some of the drivers have been the 80 videos that have been taken since 1990. Undercover videos taken without any knowledge of the people involved. The problem is it causes a lot of damage to these company’s reputation. They have no way to respond to these. These are farms, they don’t have PR departments and they can’t respond to this. But yet there is a lot of damage done. These is no proper response available for these people so legislation is being driven from the standpoint that we are trying to protect honest, hard working people in business and stop people from trying to harm them. That’s what is driving this legislation.”
Joe also added that states should consider adding a vicarious liability statement to their legislation. This would enable you to press charges against any company or organization that used footage taken illegally. If this clause isn’t added, then the only person held liable is the videographer and they typically have nothing for you to gain.
Listen to or download my interview with Joe here: Interview with Joe Miller
Listen to or download audio from Joe’s complete presentation here: Joe Miller - Rose Acre Farms
Check out photos from the event: 2013 Animal Ag Alliance Stakeholders Summit Photo AlbumCoverage of the Animal Agriculture Alliance Stakeholders Summit is sponsored by National Pork Producers Council and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association