Posted: October 10, 2012
An undercover video that reportedly shows animal cruelty at an Idaho dairy has prompted a quick response by law enforcement and condemnation by the industry.
The hidden camera video by an animal rights group, which has not yet been publicly released, is reported to show repeated and callous abuse by workers at Bettencourt Dairies Dry Creek Dairy near Hansen, Idaho. Three former dairy workers shown in the video have now been charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty in the case. The video was brought to the attention of the Idaho Department of Agriculture in August and officials went to Bettendorf Dairies, which took immediate action against the employees in question. According to a statement on the company’s website, “animal abuse or misuse has a zero tolerance policy and is dealt with as swiftly as possible.” Bettendorf says they cooperated with the department in the investigation, terminated five employees identified in the video, and took steps with other employees to ensure that they fully understood the zero tolerance policy. The dairy also also reviewed security and monitoring systems to curtail any further incidents.
Among the more extreme incidents of abuse reportedly in the video show workers beating a cow with a cane as it slips on a wet concrete floor, kicking and stomping on cows fallen between the metal bars in the milking stalls, and a downed cow being dragged out of the barn with a chain around her neck.
A panel of farm animal care specialists established by the Center for Food Integrity (CFI) reviewed the video and summarized it with words like atrocious, horrific, and morally abhorrent. The panel was comprised of Dr. Temple Grandin, Colorado State University; Dr. Candace Croney, Purdue University; and Dr. Jim Reynolds, Western University.
The video was shot by Mercy for Animals, which plans to publicly release footage from it today.