UFW releases photos from Darigold farms

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click image to zoomDarigold's Issaquah, Wash., plant. Joe MabelDarigold's Issaquah, Wash., plant. The United Farm Workers (UFW) union, the organization once led by Cesar Chavez, is alleging that Darigold/Northwest Dairy Association-member farms are mistreating lame and sick cows by forcing them to be milked, and not medically treating them. Four photos released to the public on the UFW site last week do indeed show cows with lesions or blood on their bodies. SeattlePI.com reports that the UFW blamed the situation on cows injuring themselves due to overcrowded conditions at the farms.

UFW also cited the Humane Society of the United States in its online post, calling the organization “close friends.”

Darigold’s senior vice president of corporate affairs, Steve Rowe, threw out the claims issued in a lawsuit in May. In an earlier statement, he said, “After review of the claims we are confident that they are meritless and will fail in the course of litigation. The claims that our dairy producers do not adequately take care of their employees or animals is not only inaccurate, it is offensive to generations of our dairy farm families and the employees who care for the animals."

UFW has long fought to unionize workers on Darigold-member farms, noting that Darigold plants have unions already.

It should be noted that nowhere in the UFW article or press conference was there any reference to what should be done with the injured animals or the potential harm that could be caused by not milking the animals.

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Scott Beckstead    
Sutherlin, Oregon  |  June, 02, 2014 at 11:34 AM

It is the position of The Humane Society of the United States that at a minimum, any dairy cow showing visible signs of injury or illness should be removed from the milking rotation and provided with prompt veterinary care, or, when appropriate, humane euthanasia.

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