Report rather than record animal cruelty at dairy farms, DFA urges activists

By Mark ASTLEY

- Last updated on GMT

The Mercy for Animals video opens with a shot of a worker jabbing a cow with a screwdriver.
The Mercy for Animals video opens with a shot of a worker jabbing a cow with a screwdriver.

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Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) has slammed Mercy for Animals for recording rather than reporting animal cruelty at a member farm in Colorado.

The video - shot over a two month period at Cactus Acres Holsteins in Fort Morgan, Colorado by undercover Mercy for Animals activist, Jessica Buck - shows "acts of animal cruelty​" by some farm employees, said DFA.

In a statement, the Kansas City-based cooperative, which is owned by around 15,000 dairy farmers across the US, said while animal mistreatment is "not tolerated"​ in the US dairy sector, incidents like this should be "immediately reported, not recorded."

"It is disheartening that groups like Mercy for Animals, which claims to have animal care and well at heart, seek change through deceit and misconception, rather than working with the industry to proactively address the concerns," ​DFA said in a statement.

"When animal abuse is witnessed, it should be immediately reported, not recorded."

"Disciplinary action"

The video - since posted on YouTube by DFA - begins with shots of a Cactus Acres Holsteins employee jabbing at one cow with a screwdriver and hitting another with a stick.

Other farm workers are seen slapping, punching, kicking cows.

Click here to watch the Mercy for Animals footage.

When notified of the mistreatment by the Morgan County Sheriff's Office, the owners of Cactus Acres Holsteins, Jim and Marie Goedert, took “immediate action,”​ DFA said.

In a statement, Marie and Jim Goedert said they had "taken disciplinary action against all of the employees involved, including several prior to our knowledge of the video as part of our normal dairy management."

“We take great pride in our family farm and in the care provided to our animals. We will not tolerate any mistreatment."

“While we take full responsibility for the activities on our dairy, we find ourselves saddened that these actions were not immediately brought to our attention."

They are now reviewing their monitoring and employee training protocols "to determine where changes need to be made to prevent future incident from occurring," ​it added.

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