Los Angeles-based Mercy for Animals posted a horrific and revealing video captured by an activist working undercover at a New Mexico dairy that supplies mozzarella giant Leprino Foods.
In the video, workers can be seen beating, kicking, throwing and otherwise abusing the cows — and we don’t think we need to warn you that the video is absolutely horrible. Watch at your own risk.
“Leprino Foods cares deeply about the health and welfare of the animals on the farms that supply our milk,” the company said in a statement Wednesday. “As soon as Leprino Foods was informed about the abuse on one of these dairies, all shipments from that farm were terminated immediately.”
“The actions depicted in the video are appalling and unacceptable. Leprino Foods Company prides itself in providing an uncompromising commitment to high-quality real cheese, and the milk must be supplied to us by farmers who share our commitment to the highest level of animal health and wellness,” the company said.
However, Mercy for Animals says that the company’s lack of “meaningful welfare guidelines” allowed this to happen, and called for the company to install a monitoring system with livestreaming to the internet to “help deter abuse at its dairy suppliers.”
“Due to the company’s complete lack of animal welfare policies and guidelines for suppliers, Leprino Foods allowed a culture of cruelty and neglect to fester at this dairy factory farm,” said Matt Rice, Director of Investigations for Mercy for Animals.
The animal rights group supplied the video to the New Mexico Livestock Board, who launched an investigation into Winchester Dairy. Winchester Dairy issued the following statement:
Animal care and well-being is central to our operations. Upon reviewing the footage of the animal abuse at our farm, Winchester immediately initiated an internal investigation and, in response, have:
• Terminated all employees and referred the abusive employees to law enforcement for further review;
• Dispersed the farm’s dairy cows to other dairy farms with strong track records in animal welfare within hours of the video being received.
Mercy For Animals also called on Domino’s to implement policies that protect animals from abuse. The company responded, “No act of cruelty can ever be condoned. Ever. What we do know is that this is not an issue with our cheese supplier — it was an isolated case of sadistic acts by employees at a single dairy farm in southern New Mexico.”
Perhaps Domino’s may want to rethink this ad which says their cheese is “crafted to perfection by an award-winning mozzarella maker using milk from family-owned dairy farms.”
h/t: Grub Street