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Police guard Ohio farm at heart of animal-cruelty investigation to prevent private-property protest

June 1, 2010 |  4:03 pm

Conklin dairy farm video

PLAIN CITY, Ohio — About 150 law enforcement officers are guarding highways around an Ohio dairy farm where animal welfare activists want to stage a protest after a video showed cows being kicked and poked with pitchforks.

A Chicago-based group called Mercy For Animals released the undercover video last week. Conklin Dairy Farms Inc. fired a worker who's charged with 12 counts of animal cruelty.

The Union County sheriff's office says Internet chatter indicated a protest was scheduled Sunday. But authorities say the Plain City farm is private property and is surrounded by highways, leaving no place for people to legally park or protest.

Sgt. Chris Skinner says a few people in cars approached officers about staging a rally. He says they must find public property.

Conklin Dairy Farms says it won't condone animal abuse and is cooperating with authorities.

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

-- Associated Press

Photo: A screen grab 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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