26 May 2010

Animal cruelty revealed in undercover footage at Ohio dairy farm

A new special investigation has been released by Mercy For Animals documenting barbaric animal cruelty at an Ohio Dairy Farm.

During a four-week investigation at Conklin Dairy Farms in Plain City, Ohio between April and May, MFA's investigator documented farm workers:
  • Violently punching young calves in the face, body slamming them to the ground, and pulling and throwing them by their ears
  • Routinely using pitchforks to stab cows in the face, legs and stomach
  • Kicking "downed" cows (those too injured to stand) in the face and neck – abuse carried out and encouraged by the farm's owner
  • Maliciously beating restrained cows in the face with crowbars – some attacks involving over 40 blows to the head
  • Twisting cows' tails until the bones snapped
  • Punching cows' udders
  • Bragging about stabbing, dragging, shooting, breaking bones, and beating cows and calves to death
Watch the [warning: graphic] investigation footage:

After viewing the footage Dr. Bernard Rollin, professor of animal science at Colorado State University, said, "This is probably the most gratuitous, sustained, sadistic animal abuse I have ever seen. The video depicts calculated, deliberate cruelty, based not on momentary rage but on taking pleasure through causing pain to cows and calves who are defenseless."

Veterinary practitioner Dr. Holly Cheever said, "[T]he treatment that these cows are receiving goes way beyond impatience and poor technique on the part of the handlers: these actions are gratuitous, violent, brutal, and are calculated to cause suffering."

William Wailes who is the extension dairy specialist and Head of the Department of Animal Sciences at Colorado State University said, "It is hard to put into words what you have captured in this footage, total abuse of animals in the worst possible interaction with a person totally not qualified working with animals! This is beyond comprehension..."

Gary Conklin of Conklin Dairy Cattle Sales LLC released a statement that said, “We will not condone animal abuse on our farm. We have launched our own internal investigation into this matter and will be conducting interviews with everyone on our farm who works with our animals. We will immediately terminate any farm worker found to have willfully abused our cows and calves."

It is important to note that Mr. Conklin is seen in the video repeatedly kicking a cow in the neck.

A November ballot measure proposed by Ohioans For Humane Farms would create standards that prevent cruel and inhumane treatment of farm animals including the extreme confinement in tiny cages for months on end, allowing “downer cows” to enter the human food chain, and inhumane methods of euthanasia for sick and injured animals. The standards would have to be implemented by the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board within 6 years of the measure passing. Similar laws have already been enacted in Michigan, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Maine, and Oregon.

The campaign is looking for volunteers to help gather the remaining amount of over 600,000 signatures needed by June 30 to guarantee a spot on the general election ballot for a proposed anti-cruelty measure. To volunteer please sign up at ohiohumane.com or email us and we will put you in touch with the campaign coordinator.  If you are unable to volunteer but would like to have your signature added to the initiative, please email us and we will get you in contact with a local volunteer.

To learn more about Mercy For Animals investigations visit mercyforanimals.org.

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Photo Credit: video screen capture