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Advocacy group releases undercover video depicting alleged animal cruelty at Ohio dairy farm

May 26, 2010 | 11:57 am

Alleged cruelty to cows at Ohio dairy farm

CLEVELAND — An animal welfare group said Tuesday that a graphic video it secretly recorded showed workers at a dairy farm beating cows with crowbars, stabbing them with pitchforks and punching them in their heads.

The video was recorded in an undercover investigation at Conklin Dairy Farms Inc., said Mercy for Animals. The not-for-profit group publicizes what it calls cruel practices in the dairy, meat and egg industries and promotes a vegan diet.

The video shows workers holding down newborn calves and stomping on their heads. It shows one worker wiring a cow's nose to a metal bar near the ground and repeatedly beating it with another bar while it bleeds.

Conklin Dairy Farms, a fourth-generation family operation based in Plain City, Ohio, said it took the care of its cows and calves very seriously and had reviewed the video.

"The video shows animal care that is clearly inconsistent with the high standards we set for our farm and its workers, and we find the specific mistreatment shown on the video to be reprehensible and unacceptable," Gary Conklin, of Conklin Dairy Cattle Sales, said Tuesday night in an e-mailed statement. "We will not condone animal abuse on our farm."

Cow2 The company said it would interview its farm workers and anyone found to have willfully abused the cows or calves would be fired.

Last year, Mercy for Animals, which is based in Chicago, released a video showing workers at an Iowa egg hatchery tossing male chicks into a grinder. Industry groups said such instantaneous euthanasia was a common practice because male chicks can't lay eggs or be raised quickly enough to be sold for meat.

Mercy for Animals' executive director, Nathan Runkle, said the cow video was shot between April 28 and Sunday by an undercover worker at the dairy, about 25 miles northwest of Columbus. He said the documented abuse violated Ohio's anti-animal cruelty statute.

The group presented the video and the evidence it collected to the prosecutor's office in Marysville, Ohio. The prosecutor's office didn't respond to a request for comment late Tuesday.

RELATED NEWS ABOUT FARM ANIMALS:
Egg-farm video is latest salvo in Humane Society's campaign (April 2010 story by P.J. Huffstutter)
Vermont slaughterhouse closed amid animal cruelty allegations

-- Meghan Barr, Associated Press

Photos: Screen grabs from the video released by Mercy for Animals. (The video in its entirety is available for viewing on the group's website. Warning: It contains graphic images.) Credit: Mercy for Animals

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