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Nestle's DiGiorno cuts ties with dairy vendor over animal abuse

Dec. 10, 2013 at 3:59 PM   |   Comments

WRIGHTSTOWN, Wis., Dec. 10 (UPI) -- Nestle, the company that produces DiGiorno Pizza, said it has cut ties with a Wisconsin dairy farm because of an undercover video showing cows being abused.

The alleged abuse was recorded at Wiese Brothers Farm in Wrightstown, Wis. It shows employees kicking, dragging and beating the animals. It also shows the animals being kept in deplorable conditions. It was recorded by a member of Mercy For Animals who was posing as an employee at the farm.

The farm's managers released a statement saying two employees in the videos were fired immediately when it surfaced. A third worker was reassigned, the Oshkosh newspaper the Northwestern reported Tuesday.

Wiese provides milk to Foremost Farms, which makes cheese supplied to Nestle used in DiGiorno's frozen pizzas. Nestle released a statement Tuesday promising any suppliers who fail to follow the company's "stringent" rules on animal treatment would be dropped.

"Nestle is outraged and deeply saddened by the mistreatment of animals shown in this video," the company said. "We do expect all of our suppliers and their suppliers to meet our stringent guidelines. We have advised Foremost Farms that we will not accept any cheese made with milk from the Wiese Brothers Farm."

Wiese apologized for the incident.

"We are shocked and saddened to see a few of our employees not following our farm's policies for proper animal care," a farm statement reads. "We have zero tolerance for animal abuse. We are committed to providing optimal care and ask all our employees to demonstrate ongoing respect for every animal at all times."

Mercy For Animals has called on local law enforcement to bring animal cruelty charges against the employees in the video. Wiese said it would cooperate with a police investigation.

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