FAIR OAKS, Ind. (WLFI) — An undercover video shot by an animal cruelty group shows alleged cruelty toward calves at Fair Oaks Farms. The video was created by Animal Recovery Mission Investigations and was published around 4 p.m. Tuesday.
They said they had someone working at the farm undercover for three months documenting what they saw.
A description under the video says, "The following abuses were witnessed on virtually a daily basis: Employees were observed slapping, kicking, punching, pushing, throwing and slamming calves; calves were stabbed and beaten with steel rebars, hit in the mouth and face with hard plastic milking bottles, kneed in the spine, burned in the face with hot branding irons, subjected to extreme temperatures, provided with improper nutrition, and denied medical attention. This resulted in extreme pain and suffering by the calves, and in some cases permanent injury and even death."
According to its Twitter biography, ARM Investigations is an animal welfare organization who investigates, documents and exposes illegal acts of extreme animal cruelty. The Twitter page also says the organization is based out of Miami, Florida.
The description under the video adds, "In addition, the ARM investigator captured footage of drug use and illegal marijuana cultivation by Fair Oaks employees and supervisors."
Attached is the video, but viewer discretion is advised.
Fair Oaks Founder Mike McCloskey said in a statement posted on Facebook that the alleged abuse was committed by five people. He said of the five, four were employees of Fair Oaks Farms, and one was a third party truck driver. McCloskey said three of the four employees had already been terminated prior to the release of the video Tuesday. He said the three employees are responsible for a majority of the offenses seen.
McCloskey said a third party investigation was conducted months ago when the company first found out about the undercover investigation.
"It is a shock and an eye-opener for us to discover that under our watch," said McCloskey. "We had employees who showed disregard for our animals, our processes and for the rule of law."
McCloskey said the claim that the farm grows and sells illegal drugs is not true.
"The plants featured in the video are an invasive perennial species that is rampant on farms all over the midwest," said McCloskey in the statement. "With that said, I am disappointed to learn of potential drug use on our properties. Months ago, the individual seen smoking by the barn and doing drugs in a truck was turned in by his co-workers to one of our managers. That manager notified local law enforcement about the drug use and, accordingly, a police report is on file."
"It is with a heavy heart that I prepare this statement today," McCloskey said. "As a veterinarian whose life and work is dedicated to the care, comfort and safety of all animals, this has affected me deeply. I am disappointed for not being aware of this kind of awful treatment occurring and I take full responsibility for what has happened. I also take full responsibility to correct and ensure that every employee understands, embraces and practices the core values on which our organization stands."
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