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Protection of areas on the farm from exposure to transmissible diseases and hazardous substances is critical to the quality and safety of our food supply.  Most farmers implement stringent measures of protocol in areas of the farm where animals are housed or where farm products are stored or handled to minimize these risks and the serious consequences that would result from disease or product contamination.  However, when farmers try to direct others entering the farm to avoid or abide by protocols established for these key areas, farmers’ efforts have been largely ignored.

Legislation contained in House Bill 511 and Senate Bill 906 would require persons entering farm properties to abide by the directives for biosecurity that the farmer has established and has posted to be performed for critical areas designated as “agricultural biosecurity areas.”  The bill would amend the Crimes Code by creating a misdemeanor offense of “agricultural biosecurity trespasser” for entering an area posted as an agricultural biosecurity area without permission to enter, and a summary offense for failing to perform biosecurity measures that the farmer has prescribed in a posted notice to be performed before entering the area.  The bill would also amend the state Domestic Animal Act to give the Department of Agriculture authority to require the establishment of agricultural biosecurity areas to minimize the presence of disease or hazardous substances on farms.

Legislation requiring persons entering farms to abide by protocols for minimizing risks of disease and farm product contamination that the farmer has established and imposing penalties on persons failing to do so was passed and signed into law.  Act 125 of 2010