Three workers at Bettencourt Dairies' Dry Creek Dairy in Hansen, Idaho, have been charged with animal cruelty after an undercover video (below) showed them abusing the animals.
On the video, shot by Mercy for Animals, the workers beat, kick, shove and stomp on the helpless cows. One cow is dragged by a chain around her neck, out of the barn, by a worker.
Bettencourt Dairies' Dry Creek Dairy is the largest in Idaho with 60,000 milk cows. It supplies Kraft Foods, Wendy's and Burger King restaurants with dairy products.
Twin Falls County Prosecutor Grant Loebs said he filed misdemeanor animal cruelty charges against Jesus Garza, Jose Acensio and Javier Victor Rojas Loayza in late August, reports the Daily Mail.
Luis Bettencourt, the owner of the dairy, told the Daily Mail: "We don't tolerate animal abuse. That's a big issue for us. I love my animals and I've been in the dairy business since I was a kid. Animal care is a number one issue in our facilities."
"... We showed the video to all the rest of the employees in our dairies, all 500 employees, and they had to sign a deal that said they understand that there's zero tolerance for animal abuse in our dairies. We've been in business 30 years and we've never had this happen before. We're all devastated here."
Nathan Runkle, the executive director of Mercy for Animals, said: "We believe this abuse is ongoing and was allowed to flourish, unchecked, until Mercy for Animals sent a hidden camera in."
"There are no meaningful watchdogs inside a factory farm... Across the country this is actually our fourth dairy industry investigation that we've done and every single one of those investigations has led to animal cruelty charges being filed."
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Police don't believe any of the dairy's upper management knew about the mistreatment.
Kraft Foods, Wendy's and Burger King all condemned the animal abuse and are conducting their own investigations.
WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO BELOW