Cattle Industry Responding to Horrible Video Released by Anti Animal Ag Group Showing Dairy Calf AbuseThu, 21 Apr 2011 5:37:05 CDT
Video footage shot secretly at a Texas farm shows workers bashing in the skulls of sick and injured calves with pickaxes and hammers, burning calves and dragging calves by their ears.
Chicago-based group Mercy For Animals said an employee at E6 Cattle Co. in Hart, Texas, recorded the footage it released Wednesday. The employee quit after obtaining the video and apparently did not report the abuse to local authorities or to the owner of the feeding operation.
“It is obvious that both the management and the employees have no regard for animal welfare,” Temple Grandin is quoted as saying in the group’s press release. Click here for the news release and video.
“I take full responsibility for what happened in the video,” E6 Cattle Co. Owner Kirt Espenson said in a statement issued to Lubbock, Texas, television station KCBD. Espenson says he has refreshed his staff of 75 on animal welfare guidelines. "No employee will ever work a day on my feed yard not properly trained on animal welfare," he said. "It is inexcusable, and we're taking this most sincerely to resolve it so it never happens again." Click here for the KCBD report on the response to the Mercy for Animals video.
Espenson added in the TV report that "I let an entire industry down by the lack of management I provided."
The Castro County Sheriff’s office is conducting a criminal investigation, according to KCBD.
The Mercy for Animals group did not report the activity they were recording to stop the suffering, but rather gathered several days of material to prepare their video released this week. This seems at odds with their mission statement which says that they believe that "non-human animals are irreplaceable individuals with morally significant interests and hence rights." The statement adds they oppose those animals being exploited. The group points to animal agriculture as the source of 99% of the misery of animals in the United States and as the chief exploiters of these animals.
Individual ranchers and dairymen on Twitter were quick to condemn the actions seen on the video, saying that these actions are not the norm. And Texas livestock groups issued a statement on Wednesday afternoon, condemning the action and again saying that is not the way business should be done. The groups involved say in their statement that they are "appalled by the deplorable euthanasia methods depicted in the Mercy for Animals video. They in no way reflect the actions of the thousands of Texas farmers and ranchers who work hard every day to provide their animals with the best care possible."
Here is the full statement by the groups and the groups signing onto the statement:
"The Texas livestock and agriculture organizations listed below are appalled by the deplorable euthanasia methods depicted in the Mercy for Animals video. They in no way reflect the actions of the thousands of Texas farmers and ranchers who work hard every day to provide their animals with the best care possible.
"Blunt force is specifically prohibited as a means of euthanasia by American Association of Bovine Practitioners and the American Veterinary Medical Association. The euthanasia methods in this video violate these standards.
"The industry works hard to ensure farmers and ranchers are trained in all areas of animal care and treatment and will continue those efforts.
"We encourage and support a full investigation by local authorities.
Good animal care and treatment is an obligation, not an option for farmers and ranchers and we take this responsibility very seriously."
Independent Cattlemen's Association of Texas
Livestock Marketing Association of Texas
Texas Association of Dairymen
Texas Beef Council
Texas Cattle Feeders Association
Texas Farm Bureau
Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association
WebReadyTM Powered by WireReady® NSI
Top Agricultural News