Undercover dairy video leads to animal abuse allegations

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On Tuesday, Mercy for Animals released an undercover video allegedly showing abuse at a Wisconsin dairy.

The video reportedly shows abuse at the Wiese Brothers Farm near Greenleaf, Wis. 

DiGiorno pizza manufacturer Nestlé announced in the wake of the allegations that it will not longer accept cheese made with milk from the farm. Cheese supplier Foremost Farms USA also discontinued its relationship with the dairy, according to news reports.

NBC News reported Tuesday that an investigation of the farm by the Brown County (Wis.) Sheriff’s Department is currently under way. No charges have been filed at this time.

Animal-handling expert Temple Grandin watched the video and is quoted by NBC news as saying, “the actions of these people went beyond rough handling and escalated to the level of cruelty. Kicking, beating, and hard whipping of downed cows is abusive.”

The owners said in a statement they are cooperating with local law enforcement and are “shocked and saddened” to see the footage. They have “zero tolerance for animal abuse” and terminated two employees. A third employee was removed from animal-handling responsibilities.

The NBC News report, linked here, contains footage from the video.

Also see “Dairy industry leaders decry video showing abuse of cows.”

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Paulette Campbell    
December, 10, 2013 at 07:39 PM

Yoy are low life disgusting people. I' m so grateful you got caught. I will never buy another Digourno or Nestle product because they are also responsible to be aware of the conditions at the farm they contract with. I'm so disgusted at the immorality. You are EVIL.

OH  |  December, 11, 2013 at 08:45 AM

Paulette, if the company that grows cocoa treats its workers poorly are you not going to shop at a store that sells the chocolate made from that cocoa? Bad cocoa grower sells to cocoa distributer. He sells to cocoa processor. Processor sells to company to make chocolate products. They sell to stores. There is no way the the stores can keep track that far down the supply chain. Digourno or Nestle do not contract with each farm. They have no idea which farms supply the milk to the cheese processor who makes their cheese. That is not how businesses run. Mercy for Animals only chose Nestle because it was a big name. They also illegally used DiGiornos slogan and label. There are people doing the same thing to children. Do you not buy products from companies that employed these people? Do you keep a list? If a iron mining company mistreats its workers are you never going to buy anything made with steel ever?

OH  |  December, 11, 2013 at 08:49 AM

BTW in the video the scene of the cow bleeding from her vulva is not from mistreatment. She just had a baby and that is the normal discharge after a cow has a baby. But that is an example of how MFA uses misinformation to scare people. Yes there was some abuse in the video that should never happen. But not everything in the video was from abuse.

December, 11, 2013 at 11:17 AM

Ron, thank you for your polite and informed reply. I am a retired small dairy farmer that had the privilege of milking in a stanchion barn but have friends that use parlors and free stalls. And you hit the nail on the head, yes some footage was abuse and some was an unfortunate miscalculation between a cow and her environment . When designing livestock facilities we try for comfort, ease of flow, safety, for both animal and human and yes productivity. There are those rare times when the equation that was used does not work and an animal is hurt and unable to stay in those facilities. At that time a responsible person should try to humanity extract that animal as soon and safe as possible and find a better environment for said animal. No responsible farmer or farm worker ever wants to endanger an animal they are our income, the publics source of nutrition, and even an extension of our being.

WI  |  December, 11, 2013 at 02:03 PM

1st go to Darrie Carrie's Lastest Blog "Sometimes I'm mean to my cows" Second all cows needed to be moved, In somecases in this video 3 or 4 men with the a skid steer got the animal out of the stall, and hopefully she would get up. If the cows would not get they will die or maybe they should show the medical procedure of treating with Pb.22. I believe some of this stuff in the video is excessive but how do you move animal that doesn't want to or will fight you opposite every step of the way. By the asking them nicely does not work!

December, 11, 2013 at 02:06 PM

those same cows from that farm will be made into Pizza toppings for Digorno/Nestle. Did they single out the slaughter housesto. Their Pizza plant is in my home town, you should hear the stories on how they treat their work force

Joe Dairyman    
USA  |  December, 12, 2013 at 12:59 AM

How is a baby calf in a wheel barrow cruel & Abusive? When it's cold that calf needs to be moved to a warmer place or it will freeze to death. It's not going straight veal. MFA is telling the public lies. The cow with the blood just gave birth. Hipp clamps work well to lift a cow. How else are you gonna move a 1400 lb cow from a free stall. Or how how gonna assist a cow to stand? MFA animals were right there filming this, making it look a lot worse than in should be. If they were so concerned why did they stand there and film? Why didn't they try find the best way to move the cow? These Vegan MFA low life's just want to put animal agriculture out of bussiness. All the folks out there that are making comments? Have you ever moved a downer cow? We have all these opinions out there that don't know anything about cows! It's not profitable to go around abusing $1400 cows. The cow with the huge abscess that not abuse! That happens to some cows on its own. MFA is telling the public lies and the media is going for it because they just don't know anything about cows. And last of all Formost & Nestle are only worried about their sales. Truth is the processors don't know about the issues on the dairy. No more than the dairyman knowing about the issues in a plant. These videos are going to keep popping up by MFA because they are Vegans & they allow the abuse to happen while they film.

Ex Dairyman    
December, 13, 2013 at 07:19 PM

Those same cows will NOT be made into Pizza toppings since down cows are not accepted for slaughter. Get you facts straight!

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