INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) – The animal welfare group that released this disturbing video last month of alleged abuse at Indiana's "Fair Oaks Farms" claim a new investigation reveals animal abuse at an organic dairy farm.
Animal Recovery Mission has released the first-ever investigation of an organic dairy farm, "Natural Prairie Dairy" which is based in Texas, in a news conference held by ARM Tuesday.
In that conference, they also uncovered new information that Natural Prairie Dairy is expanding to Newton County, Indiana, not far from Fair Oaks Farms.
The Natural Prairie Dairy facility in Newton County will supply dairy to Meijer Grocer, the Midwest and East Coast.
Currently, Natural Prairie Dairies house over 25,000 cows and consist of four locations near Dalhart, Texas and supplies raw dairy to Kroger through Aurora Dairy’s bottling plant in Denver, Colorado, according to ARM.
ARM says the undercover video they captured from March through July in Texas shows dairy cows in unsanitary conditions and suffering abuse. The group claims "organic" farms don't mean "safe" farms, especially for cows that are sick.
In a release from ARM, they listed several violations that they observed:
Maltreatment and Excessive Abuse Dairy of Cows (Cows tormented, kicked, hit with shovels, and stabbed with screwdrivers by vet tech crews and animal caregivers. Cows inhumanly tied left in uncomfortable positions for hours and cows falling into cesspools almost drowning)
Neglect of Sick and Injured Dairy Cows (Flesh wounds, eye gashes and/or leg injuries not treated. Cows w/ infected eyes, infected udders, cuts and scrapes, limping and too weak to walk seen untreated and in declining health)
Squalid, Overcrowded, Unsanitary Housing (Cows live in squalid, overcrowded and unsanitary conditions. Cows spend the majority of their lives in illegally overcrowded feces-ridden barns and insufficient stalls force cows to lay in feces-ridden cement, causing foot rot and infections to untreated open wounds and scars)
Force Feeding & Scientific Research Performed on Cows (Portholes allows access to the rumen of a cow, to perform scientific research and analysis of the cow’s digestive system. It takes cows as much as 6 weeks to recover to from this mutilation and the hole is there for life, something that is very uncomfortable for the cows. Cows being force-fed with metal tubes by untrained employees)
"The cows of Natural Prairie Dairy live a life of pure misery and torture," said Richard “Kudo” Couto, ARM Founder. "Beaten, stabbed and locked down in feces ridden barns, this is not what consumers imagine when purchasing organic milk and/or cheese. The world has just been schooled on the reality of organic dairy."
The video provided by ARM includes images that may be disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised.
In response, Fairlife Chief Operations Officer, Tim Doelman released this statement Tuesday:
“Fairlife does not source -- and never has sourced -- milk from the farm in this video. Our focus is on the farms that do supply us. We recently completed third-party audits of every farm that provides us milk to ensure they are in line with national FARM standards, and that they all have committed to our zero-tolerance policy on animal abuse.”