OFA says local farmers need to start getting serious about biosecurity

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture says local farmers need to start taking biosecurity more seriously, especially in the face of the growing number of unwanted visitors, trespassers and advocates entering on to farm properties.

In a release, the OFA says a recent survey conducted indicates more than half of members have had trespassers on their farm in the last five years. They note the majority of those had no biosecurity plan in place, including signage about biosecurity or trespassing.

OFA Director Bruce Buttar says this needs to change, and these incidents have the potential to pose a risk much larger than just that one operation, saying trespassers on crop farms could bring new diseases onto fields and properties.

Buttar recommends farmer have a hard look at creating a biosecurity plan, including “making a statement with signs”, which can be printed off HERE.

He says farmers can also lock building doors and sheds, restrict entry into barns, providing disposable booties for visitors, and to be ready to call the police if necessary.

The OFA says they will continue to advocate for more vigilant enforcement of trespassing due to the increased threat of activists and trespassers.