An undercover video - which documents "systemic and illegal abuse" at Fair Oaks Farms - has been released by Animal Recovery Mission.
The farm in question – which is located in Indiana - produces dairy products for the Fairlife milk brand, which is marketed and distributed by the Cola-Cola Corporation.
The Animal Recovery Mission regards this as the “largest undercover dairy investigation in history.”
Releasing a statement, Mike McCloskey – founder of Fair Oaks Farms – said that they were “disgusted by and take full responsibility for the actions seen in the footage, as it goes against everything that we stand for in regards to responsible cow care and comfort.”
Animal cruelty and despicable judgement
He said that while he was made aware a couple of months ago of the fact that ARM had gone undercover at Fair Oaks Farms, he had “no idea what kind of footage had been captured or what – if any – abuse had occurred”.
“It is with great disappointment to find, after closely reviewing the released ARM video, that there were five individuals committing multiple instances of animal cruelty and despicable judgement.”
He explained that of the five, four were employees and one was a third-party truck driver who was collecting calves.
“Of the four who were our employees, three had already been terminated prior to us being made aware months ago of the undercover ARM operation.”
They were identified by their co-workers as “being abusive of our animals and reported to management.”
He said that unfortunately, the fourth employee’s animal abuse was not caught at that same time
“Although he underwent another training session in animal care when we discovered there was an undercover ARM operation on our farm, after viewing the extent of his animal abuse, he is being terminated today.
“As to the individual who worked for the transportation company, today, we will notify the company that he works for and he will not be allowed on our farms again.”
McCloskey said that this video and any future videos will be “immediately handed over to the authorities for review and potential prosecution”.
“It is a shock and an eye-opener for us to discover that under our watch, we had employees who showed disregard for our animals, our processes and for the rule of law.”
He confirmed that a "full investigation of all aspects of the video is underway, during and after which disciplinary action will be taken."
This includes termination and criminal prosecution, of any and all employees and managers who have violated either animal care practices or the law or both.
“I am and will continue to be deeply involved in the resolution of this matter, down to every one of our employees, so that I can guarantee that these actions never again occur on any of our farms,” he concluded.
Image source: Animal Recovery Mission \ Youtube