Animal abuse has been uncovered at an Indiana farm, as an undercover worker from an investigative animal welfare organization laid bare the treatment being dished out to newborn calves.
Animal Recovery Mission (ARM) group released an undercover video taken at Fair Oaks Farms, which supplies milk to Fairlife, a company partnered with Coca Cola.
The footage shows animal abuse that has led to three people being charged with cruelty to baby cows in a shocking display of physical violence.
Fair Oaks Farms has fired four employees seen in a graphic undercover video "committing multiple instances of animal cruelty and despicable judgment." (Warning: Disturbing details).
One of the rescuers from ARM secured a job at Fair Oaks Farms and secretly videoed workers there subjecting cows to abuse such as calves being dragged along the ground by their ears, kicking them in the head, hitting them with milk bottles, and other abuse acts, CBS Chicago reported.
Since the video’s release, an official investigation has been carried out. Conditions the calves were kept in were inhumane, with temperatures above 100 degrees F (38 degrees C) in their enclosures and calves cramped in filthy conditions. The video also showed calves dying and being disposed of in a mass grave.
"By putting a long video out, with longer scenes, it’s very apparent that nothing is staged, OK?” Animal Recovery Mission founder Richard Couto said.
Local grocery chain store Jewel-Osco reacted to the abuse by refusing to stock Fairlife products that come from Fair Oaks Farms.
“At Jewel-Osco we strive to maintain high animal welfare standards across all areas of our business and work in partnership with our vendors to ensure those standards are upheld,” the grocer’s spokeswoman Mary Frances Trucco told CBS Chicago in an email. “We apologize for any inconvenience.”
Fair Oaks is cooperating with the police on the investigation and plans to install cameras at all points where future interaction happens between staff and the animals, reports DairyReporter.
The owners Fair Oaks Farms in Indiana are apologizing after undercover video released by an animal rights group showed…
Mike McCloskey, the owner of both Fairlife dairy products and Fair Oaks Farms, released a video statement to address abuse issues after the ARM revelations were made public. He said he was unaware of the abuse going on at his farm.
“I am disgusted by and take full responsibility for the actions seen in the footage, as it goes against everything that we stand for in regards to responsible cow care and comfort,” McCloskey said in a written statement on the company’s website.
“The employees featured in the video exercised a complete and total disregard for the documented training that all employees go through to ensure the comfort, safety and well-being of our animals.
“A full investigation of all aspects of the video is underway, during and after which disciplinary action will be taken, including termination and criminal prosecution, of any and all employees and managers who have violated either our animal care practices or the law or both.”
The new video, which shows graphic images of abuse toward animals, was posted late Tuesday.
According to the Newton County Sheriff’s Office, three people have been charged in connection with the alleged animal abuse.
They have been identified by police as 31-year-old Santiago Ruvalcaba Contreros, 36-year-old Edgar Gardozo Vazquez, and 38-year-old Miguel Angel Navarro Serrano. The three men have been charged with misdemeanor beating of a vertebrate animal, and arrest warrants were issued for the men.