WAV Comment – with thnks to Stacey as always; regards Mark.
Watch the video on ‘Our Compass’ here:
In 2017, I entered a Land O’ Lakes dairy farm in California with a team of DxE investigators and the horrors I saw sent me on an unexpected journey. Was this farm just an anomaly, or was this routine treatment of dairy cows and their babies? I couldn’t understand how the dairy industry gets away with such cruelty – especially a company like Land O’ Lakes that boasts about following strict animal welfare guidelines.
I have now gone into 14 Land O’ Lakes farms in California and Wisconsin, the nation’s top dairy-producing states. With the help of more than 20 grassroots investigators, we now have footage proving that this company routinely violates its own welfare standards, as well as animal cruelty laws.
We’re reporting this cruelty, reaching out to company representatives, and sharing our findings with journalists. The Fresno Bee just published a story about our investigation findings which you can read and share here (or see below).
Don’t be fooled by false advertising about “happy cows” and “pure milk.” There is nothing happy nor pure about the dairy industry, and when we take direct action, we can expose that.
Many thanks to everyone who helped with this investigation on the ground, and to all of you supporting online. Together, we are shattering the “humane” myth and making real progress for animal rights. If you can support this work financially, please chip in here.
Source The Fresno Bee
By Joshua Tehee
The animal rights activist group Direct Action Everywhere is leveling claims of animal abuse at several Land O’Lakes dairy operations in the central San Joaquin Valley, including Zonneveld Dairy near Laton in Fresno County.
On Wednesday, Berkeley-based group released the findings of a three-year investigation it did at 14 of the company’s farms both in Wisconsin and in California.
Among the facilities were Zonneveld Dairy in Laton; Kasbergen Dairy, Curtimade Dairy, FernJo Farms, and Mancebo Holsteins in Tulare; Fern Oaks Dairy in Porterville; Giacomazzi Dairy and Grimmius Calf Ranch in Hanford; and Tony A Nunes in Visalia.
The investigation found dozens of violations of both Land O’Lakes company animal welfare policy and California law, according to the group, which said it has video footage showing newborn calves being dragged by their hind legs and dumped from a backhoe, among other things.
The group said it will file criminal complaints against the farms on Wednesday with letters of support from a veterinarian and a former federal prosecutor, both of whom have seen the videos, the group said.
A Land O’Lakes representative said the company was not aware of the allegations as of Tuesday afternoon, but that animal care is a top priority for the company and its member-owners.
“Participation in the National Milk Producers Federation’s National Dairy FARM Program is a mandatory condition of Land O’Lakes, Inc. dairy membership and we are committed to maintaining compliance with all aspects of the program and the science that guides its development,” the representative said in an email statement.
This is not the first time Direct Action Everywhere has taken action against a Land O’Lakes operation.
Members of the group, including former “Baywatch” actress Alexandra Paul, protested alleged abuse at Zonneveld Dairy farm in 2017. The group also removed a calf from the ranch, in what it called a night-time rescue operation.
It’s also not the first time the group has had sights on Valley farms.
In 2018, three women were arrested at a ranch north of Oakdale while trying to remove an apparently dying calf from the property.
And last month, the group protested outside Harris Ranch in Coalinga, after asking the Fresno County District Attorney’s office to investigate the company’s beef processing facility in Selma. Direct Action Everywhere claimed to have hidden camera video footage showing excessive suffering of animals at the slaughterhouse.
Joshua Tehee covers breaking news for The Fresno Bee, with a focus on entertainment and a heavy emphasis on the Central Valley music scene. You can see him share the area’s top entertainment options Friday mornings on KMPH’s “Great Day” and read more of his work here.
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