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One of the biggest dairy farms in the US has been caught lying about selling its male calves for veal.
Fair Oaks Farms in Indiana claims it provides ‘complete transparency into the everyday operations of a dairy farm’.
But undercover video footage released by Animal Recovery Mission (ARM) last week showed shocking abuse of calves – with workers seen beating, stabbing, and sitting on animals. In addition, the investigation showed that the farm was selling bobby calves for veal – despite claiming it wasn’t.
“On June 4, 2019, ARM released disturbing footage of one of its most grueling factory farm investigations to date. Initiating in 2018, an ARM undercover investigator captured surveillance evidence of the systematic and horrific animal abuse that is occurring at the Fair Oaks Farm’s Dairy Farm Adventures, located in Indiana, USA,” said a statement by ARM.
“Owned and operated by Mike and Sue McCloskey, under the Fair Life Corporation, Fair Oaks Farms not only stands as one of the largest dairy farm corporations in the United States, but it has also repeatedly and publicly, prided itself as ‘acting as a window to the agriculture world’ by providing complete transparency into the everyday operations of a dairy farm.
“ARM revealed what it considers to be, the first realistic and honest audit of the Fair Oaks Farm and Fair Life Corporation’s operations, including the daily mistreatment of the resident farm animals. Information that has been hidden from the public…ARM’s investigation of Fair Oaks Farms Dairy Adventures also exposed a connection to the cruel and inhumane veal industry where male calves are transported to locations in North Manchester from Fair Oaks Farms.”
Warning: the investigation footage is graphic
Farm owner Mike McCloskey admitted that the farm had been selling calves for veal following the release of the investigation – but claimed he’d had no idea it was happening.
“Due to a lack of communication between the general manager in charge of livestock sales and myself, I was unaware that we were selling our calves to the veal industry and apologize for the unintended false claim made previously. Our bull calves will no longer go to veal,” McCloskey said in a statement.
Speaking about the abuse highlighted in the video, McCloskey said: “I am 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…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.”