Cruelty Without Conviction? Factory Farm Crimes Go UnpunishedJuly 1, 2014 • By Cara Meyers
(FACTORY FARMING/ANIMAL CRUELTY) Mercy for Animals released an extremely disturbing undercover video in 2012 of cows being tortured at Bettencourt Dairies. The video was the catalyst for many large fast-food chains, such as Wendy’s and In-N-Out, to drop Bettencourt Dairies as their supplier.
Two men from the footage were found guilty of animal cruelty, but were only fined $500 and put on probation. Sadly, this could be the last conviction of its kind now that the state passed an “ag-gag’ law prohibiting whistleblowers from exposing animal cruelty at factory farms.
Idaho’s “ag-gag” law unjustly protects animal abusers by keeping their acts of cruelty under wraps. Continue reading to learn more about the video and Idaho’s new law, and see how you can take action below. — Global Animal
Mercy For Animals
Boise, ID – Graphic hidden-camera footage of animal abuse secretly recorded by Mercy For Animals in 2012 at Bettencourt Dairies, Idaho’s largest dairy factory farm, has led to the criminal conviction of Javier Victor Rojas-Loayza, a dairy worker who was caught on video viciously beating and shocking cows.
Yesterday, Rojas-Loayza was sentenced to two years probation, fees and fines of nearly $500, and 72 hours on the sheriff’s work detail. He is also barred from working with animals while on probation.
Following the release of the undercover investigation, In-N-Out Burger, Wendy’s, and other fast-food chains dropped Bettencourt Dairies as a supplier, and Kraft Foods – the largest food company in the United States – announced a new policy requiring all of its dairy suppliers to phase out the cruel practice of tail docking cattle, among other important animal welfare policies. Last year, Jesus Garza, another Bettencourt worker exposed by Mercy For Animals, was convicted of animal cruelty for violently beating a cow. Garza was also caught on video sexually abusing a cow.
Rojas-Loayza’s conviction may be the last such conviction in Idaho now that lawmakers have passed a controversial “ag-gag” law designed to prohibit whistleblowers from exposing animal abuse and other crimes at factory farms and slaughterhouses.
Idaho’s ag-gag law, enacted just months before Rojas-Loayza’s guilty plea, was prompted by Idaho dairy factory farmers and has been widely criticized as a desperate attempt to sweep evidence of animal cruelty under the rug and protect animal abusers from public scrutiny.
“This conviction proves that cruelty and violence run rampant on Idaho’s mega dairies,” said MFA’s executive director, Nathan Runkle.
“Sadly, with Idaho’s new ag-gag law, this could be the last time that justice is served for animals who are routinely beaten, kicked, shocked, and otherwise tortured behind the closed doors of the state’s factory farms.”
To view the undercover footage, visit www.BurgerKingCruelty.com (WARNING: This video contains very disturbing content).
TAKE ACTION: Sign the petition urging Burger King to immediately implement meaningful animal protection guidelines for all dairy suppliers, which insludes Bettencourt Dairies.