The following article is from the Plainview Daily Herald:
By Kevin Lewis
Seven people face animal cruelty charges as the result of hidden-camera video shot at a Hart cattle farm where cows were shown being beaten with hammers and pickaxes and left to die without proper veterinary care.
According to Mercy For Animals, the animal protection organization that released the video after sending an undercover representative to work at the farm in March, E6 Cattle Company owner Kirt Espenson and farm foreman Arturo Olmos faces Class A misdemeanor charges for cruelty to livestock. Those charges are punishable by a fine up to $4,000 or one year in county jail.
Castro County District Attorney James R. Horton also charged five former employees – Manuel Soto, Christian Garcia, Daniel Dumas, Jose Martinez and Francisco Hernandez – with a state jail felony of cruelty to livestock. Those charges are punishable by a fine not to exceed $10,000 and up to two years in state jail.
“We commend the Castro County District Attorney and Sheriff’s Office for taking swift and decisive action in bringing these animal abusers to justice,” said Nathan Runkle, executive director of Mercy For Animals. “Let this case be a wake-up call to the dairy industry that cruelty to animals will not be tolerated.”
During the undercover investigation at the 5-year-old factory farm which raises nearly 10,000 calves for use on dairy farms, the Mercy For Animal investigator documented:
•Workers bludgeoning calves in their skulls with pickaxes and hammers
•Beaten calves, still alive and conscious, thrown onto piles to slowly suffer and die
•Workers kicking sick or injured calves in the head, and standing on their necks and ribs
•Calves confined to squalid hutches, thick with manure and urine buildup, and barely large enough for the calves to turn around or fully extend their legs
•Gruesome injuries, including open sores, swollen joints and severed hooves
•Sick, injured and dying calves denied any medical care
(Northern Ag Network Note) For more on this story and to see video, read “Animal Cruelty Video Drops U.S. Cattle Futures.”
Source: Plainview Daily Herald
Posted by Haylie Shipp