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Dairy Farm Security

September 2014

The safety and security of the U.S. milk supply is of the utmost importance to America’s dairy farmers and food companies. Since the events of Sept. 11, 2001, the dairy industry has been working closely with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and other government agencies to safeguard the milk supply from a variety of threats.

Dairy farmers closely monitor their herds to maintain each animal’s health and well-being, and many have implemented measures for security (physical protection of people, animals, equipment, and property) and biosecurity (protection of people and animals against the introduction and spread of disease and toxins).

These include:

Milk

  • Sealing and locking milk storage tanks

Animal Health

  • Maintaining a healthy herd through proper feeding, housing and veterinary care
  • Quarantining new animals before they are introduced or exposed to other animals in the herd
  • Purchasing replacement animals from healthy herds or maintaining a “closed” herd (all cows are born and raised on the farm; no cows are purchased from other herds)

Buildings & Grounds

  • Having a combined entrance and exit for the farm with contact information and number posted
  • Maintaining fences, gates and security lighting; posting “No Trespassing” signs
  • Restricting access to areas where milk, feed, farm chemicals and animal health products are stored
  • Requiring visitors to park on paved or hard-surfaced areas away from animal-handling sites and milking equipment
  • Keeping records of visitors and deliveries
  • Installing cameras to monitor access to animals and buildings on the farm

Human Resources

  • Carefully screening job applicants, including conducting background checks

Additional Precautions

  • Working with local law enforcement and employees to create a crisis response plan
  • Banning visitors who have been outside the continental United States within the past two weeks
  • Providing disinfectant and appropriate disposable footwear for visitors
  • Requiring livestock haulers to clean and disinfect vehicles before hauling livestock or feed to and from the operations

For more information, visit www.nmpf.org or www.dairyresponse.com.