Dairy industry leaders decry animal abuse seen in Wisconsin farm video

GREENLEAF, Wis., Dec. 11 (UPI) -- An undercover video showing physical abuse of cows, taken on a Wisconsin dairy farm, has angered dairy industry leaders, they say.

The video, produced in the autumn by the animal rights group Mercy for Animals and released Tuesday, shows workers at the Wiese Brothers Farm dragging animals by their legs and necks with chains attached to tractors, as well as a disabled cow suspended in the air with a mechanical lift, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Wednesday.


Temple Grandin, a Colorado State University professor and expert on livestock welfare, called the actions in the video "severe animal abuse."

A statement from the Wiese family, owners of the farm, said they were "shocked and saddened" by the video, adding two employees have been fired and a third was removed from animal handling responsibilities. The statement noted the farm was cooperating with a sheriff's department investigation into animal cruelty allegations.

Nestle USA and Foremost Farms, two of the farms' milk customers, expressed shock and sadness related to the video in separate statements and said it would no longer do business with Weise Brothers Farms.

The investigation was the first of a Wisconsin dairy farm for Mercy for Animals, a 15-year-old organization based in California. The Wiese Brothers Farm was randomly chosen, based on where the investigator could find a farm labor job, spokesman Ari Solomon said.


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