An animal rights activist with the group Compassion Over Killing was cited for animal cruelty after she went undercover to expose animal abuse at a Colorado cattle company.
Taylor Radig filmed workers at the Quanah Cattle Company in Kersey dragging newborn calves by their tails, legs and ears, dumping them onto the ground and dropping them on their heads.
Radig waited two months after she stopped working at Quanah to report the hours of footage she captured of the alleged abuse, and as a result was cited for animal cruelty, a Class 1 misdemeanor, herself.
“Radig’s failure to report the alleged abuse of the animals in a timely manner adheres to the definition of acting with negligence and substantiates the charges Animal Cruelty,” Weld County Sheriff John Cooke said in a press release.
Compassion Over Killing executive director Erica Meier says the charges are “unsupported by the law” and a “shoot-the-messenger strategy aimed at detracting attention away from the crimes of those who actually abused animals.”
The sheriff’s office says it has reason to believe Radig participated in some of the cattle abuse incidents.
“The Weld County Sheriff’s Office has chosen to retaliate against the individual who witnessed, documented and reported the callous mistreatment of newborn calves,” Meier told The Coloradoan. “Merely witnessing others abusing animals is not a crime, and our investigator (Radig) was working cooperatively with local authorities on this case prior to this baseless accusation.”
Three workers who appeared in the video were fired after they were cited for animal abuse.
“We do not tolerate animal abuse,” Quanah Cattle Company said in a statement. “Since we learned about the incident we have taken immediate corrective action and terminated the three individuals seen in the video. We are now focused on re-training our employees and taking care of our animals.”
The company says it plans to improved supervision and training of employees.