PETA makes at least two blunders in latest video

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If all news is good news, PETA again struck it big with a video showing less-than-ideal situations on a Hickory, N.C., farm. The news was then picked up by the Associated Press. But if some news is bad news for PETA, then maybe it’s that its latest video didn’t target who they wanted to target, and may not be showing what they wanted to show.

In recent videos showing poor conditions on dairy and other livestock farms, the formula has been consistent — find a farm with bad conditions, link them to a regional or national name brand, and get everyone talking about it. Tuesday’s video is one of the first “animal cruelty” videos that may have failed on both of the former counts, although there was again partial success in distribution.

Misfire on target

Tuesday’s video released by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals targeted Harris Teeter, a grocery store chain with stores in the Southeast, including North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Maryland, Delaware and the Washington, D.C. Harris Teeter is owned by national grocery giant Kroger, who purchased Harris Teeter in a deal that closed earlier this year.

But although the PETA “investigator” found a milk slip that tied the farm to Piedmont Milk Producers — supplier to Harris Teeter — the grocery chain confirmed that no milk from the farm was sent to Harris Teeter’s stores, according to the Charlotte Observer.

Further complicating the video’s impact are points raised by Dairy Herd Management columnist Carrie Mess, in a post this afternoon on her website, DairyCarrie.com. Mess took still screenshots of the video, showing relatively clean cows walking through a very full (in terms of manure) manure alley in a freestall barn. 

The Charlotte Observer notes that the farm milks only 30 cows, meaning PETA’s alleged 1-foot of manure in the freestall would need some time to accumulate.

PETA says it handed over the evidence to several of North Carolina’s enforcement agencies for further investigation.

An update

On Wednesday morning, Haywood County Animal Control officials said complaints by PETA about the farm are unfounded. While PETA  claimed cows at a farm in Clyde were being mistreated, inspectors from the Department of Agriculture and Animal Control say there was no evidence to support those claims.

Local officials say there were some house-cleaning issues involving the removal of waste that needed to be addressed, but they say wet weather has hampered the farmer’s ability to keep stalls and runways clear.

Also, Harris Teeter told News 13 they will be asking PETA to issue a retraction immediately, as the distributor does not receive milk from Osborne Dairy Farm. http://www.wlos.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/update-peta-claims-abuse-at-wnc-dairy-farm-17342.shtml

Sources: PETA.org, DairyCarrie.com, Charlotte Observer



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Suzanne Carlson    
Kansas City  |  August, 13, 2014 at 10:37 AM

Cows are personable and interesting animals. Forcing them to spend their lives from birth to death as milking machines is ethically indefensible. Thank goodness for PETA for exposing this industry for what it is: Mercenary, merciless and cruel.

Ron    
OH  |  August, 13, 2014 at 11:14 AM

If the cows were in the wild they would be giving milk to feed their calves from first calving to death too. They would be having a calf every year. Be pregnant 9 months every year. Just like every large mammal in the wild. Buffalo, horses, deer, etc.

FashionFan    
Florida  |  August, 13, 2014 at 10:40 AM

Harris Teeter can deny it all they like - the proof is in the pudding. The whistleblower who supplied PETA with this video followed the truck that picked up milk from Osborne Dairy Farm to Piedmont Milk Sales, which has publicly acknowledged that it exclusively supplies Harris Teeter. This is the disturbing video from the investigation: http://investigations.peta.org/north-carolina-dairy-farm-harris- teeter/. If Osborne, Piedmont, and Harris Teeter are going to continue to turn huge profits off of these animals, the least they can do is admit where cruelty has occurred and work to fix it.

LucyP    
MI  |  August, 13, 2014 at 10:47 AM

Whoever abused these cows needs to be held responsible. Whenever animals are treated as commodities—rather than the thinking, feeling, individuals they are—cruelty is sure to follow. Even on farms where cows aren’t forced to live knee-deep in their own filth, abuse abounds, including calves being torn from their mothers soon after birth to be sent to veal farms (so humans can take the milk that’s intended for them), and cows having their horns (or horn buds) painfully seared or cut off without any anesthetics.

Ron    
OH  |  August, 13, 2014 at 10:56 AM

Update to story. Now, Haywood County Animal Control officials say complaints by PETA about the farm are unfounded. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, claimed cows at a farm in Clyde were being mistreated. However, inspectors from the Department of Agriculture and Animal Control say there was no evidence to support those claims. Local officials say there were some house cleaning issues involving the removal of waste that needed to be addressed, but they say wet weather has hampered the farmer’s ability to keep stalls and runways clear. Also, Harris Teeter tells News 13 they will be asking PETA to issue a retraction immediately, as the distributor does not receive milk from Osborne Dairy Farm. http://www.wlos.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/update-peta-claims-abuse-at-wnc-dairy-farm-17342.shtml

Kim    
Charlotte  |  August, 13, 2014 at 12:41 PM

I might argue that this site has misfired with it's story as well. It appears your focus is to poke holes in PETA's claims and show that they've stuck their 'hoof' in their mouths. I'd think this site might be more interesting in making sure the farm is operating against policy and regulations for best possible care and production. Healthy animals. Healthy product. Shouldn't that be what we're striving towards? Not agenda pushing and finger pointing.

Dr Dan    
Ohio  |  August, 13, 2014 at 02:37 PM

I am tired of this rush to judgment. I invite anyone that wants to see a dairy in operation to come to my place. I will give them a list of all my clients. They can pick any they want and we will visit unannounced. No operation is perfect but you will see realistic operations. The invitation is there, please come.

Dave    
Kansas  |  August, 14, 2014 at 12:13 AM

Man you people are something. Just about everything in this video, if you know anything about cows and dairy operations, you can tell is a fraudulent staged event. Even the things that aren't do not translate with certainty to intentional, or unintentional abuse; that is left to the imagination of the viewer. Let's pretend that the claim is true, the milk was collected from abused animals. Is the milk quality affected by that, so as to be a human health concern? If so it would be rejected once it arrived at the plant, meaning if it was processed it was no less healthy for consumption that any other milk, so how is Harris Teeter to blame for this? And all three "turn huge profits off of these animals"? Really? Did you see those facilities? You will never be satisfied with any type of facility regardless of how it is structured if it means anything from any animal is ever used for anything by humans. I don't for one second think what was portrayed in that video was "business as usual", it can be picked apart very easily, and no that doesn't mean that we automatically blow off every claim or report of true neglect or abuse, but let's get real, we know the playbook and we don't always have to blame ourselves for everything that gets put out there and give it credibility when none exists.Preying on the unknowing and inexperienced public on these matters is what the do, all they have to do is spend 2 minutes spewing rhetoric and then we have to spend an hour explaining why it is either an isolated unfortunate blemish on the whole of the industry or a complete fabrication or misrepresentation of the reality of how we care for and treat our animals. It is nothing more that a fundraising ploy for a dishonest organization.

Jewel    
August, 14, 2014 at 09:43 AM

PETA-- People Eating Tasty Animals.

Cow Lover    
MA  |  August, 15, 2014 at 09:55 PM

Look Fashion Fan, if you think Osborn Farm is turning huge profits off their thirty cow farm, you are sadly mistaken!!

Cow Lover    
MA  |  August, 15, 2014 at 10:14 PM

Lucy, you need to get a farm job to learn about reality...farmers work long hours to provide proper care for their animals. In the real world dairy cows make milk for human consumption. It is a fantasy of the uninformed to think that they should nurse their calves, who are removed to be raised for future herd replacements. Dehorning may not be entirely painless, but is necessary to prevent injuries that horns may inflict on herdmates or those that care for them. A little pain now could prevent considerable pain to animals or people later on.

BK    
NJ  |  August, 16, 2014 at 09:15 AM

Dave - that is the entire point. These propaganda videos are NOT targeted at those of us that know and live in reality. They totally rely on people's ignorance of true production practices and the level of care that occurs on the vast majority of dairies (and other livestock facilities), and target their emotions.


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