Mercy For Animals has released an undercover video from a dairy farm in New Mexico.

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September 17, 2014 by dairycarrie

Mercy For Animals, an animal rights activist group has released an undercover video from a dairy farm in New Mexico. The video shows workers treating the cows on this farm horribly. Their actions are clearly abusive and there is no defending or explaining what the video shows happening on this farm. As a dairy farmer seeing this video makes my stomach churn.

The video was recorded by a Mercy For Animals activist who obtained employment at the farm specifically to find footage that would make a video that Mercy For Animals could use in their war against animal agriculture. This farm provided a jackpot of material to do just what MFA was after.

After the people who own the dairy were alerted to the abuse inflicted by some of their workers they took very swift and very drastic action to protect their cows from further abuse. Not only did they fire all of the employees on the farm, they also referred the employees responsible for the abuse to the local police. Then they took it a step further, 12 hours after they found out about the abuse they started moving all of their cows to other farms that they trusted. Within 24 hours, they had completely shut down their dairy farm. That’s simply stunning. While I wish the abuse had never happened, I am impressed with the actions this farm has taken to protect their cows.

It is important to note that Mercy For Animals isn’t only about ensuring animals are well cared for, MFA believes that animals have the same basic rights as humans and therefore want to stop all people from eating any animal product, including meat, milk and eggs. This year it seems that the various animal rights organizations have decided to focus on dairy farmers. The few undercover videos released this year are their attempts to erode the trust people have in dairy farmers like myself and get them to give up dairy products altogether. Of course these organizations don’t share how many farms their undercover activists go to and come back without any evidence of abuse.

While videos like this show abuse can happen on individual farms, they certainly don’t show how we do things on our farm or how our friends and neighbors do things on their farms. There are over 49,000 dairy farm families in the US and even when I include the bogus PETA video, I count 4 videos that have been released from dairy farms in the last year or so. That equals about .008% in case you’re wondering.

So, should you give up dairy products because of this video? Following the logic that Mercy For Animals and PETA use, people who don’t want children to be abused must stop buying anything produced by anyone who has children because a very small percentage of parents abuse their children. Does it seem right to you to paint all parents with a wide brush like that? Why is it ok for Mercy For Animals to paint me and my family and all the other dairy farm families just like us out there as animal abusers and ask you to stop buying our products?

I hope that the people shown abusing cows in this video will be prosecuted and held responsible for their actions. I hope that they never are allowed around animals again. I hope that this will be a wake up call to any dairy farmer with employees to be watching their people more closely and to be more diligent in hiring compassionate and kind people to work with their cows. Most of all I hope that you will not hold this video against our family and the rest of America’s dairy farmers because this is not how we do things. We love our cows.

Mercy For Animals Video from New Mexico Dairy Farm

 

 

 

 

38 thoughts on “Mercy For Animals has released an undercover video from a dairy farm in New Mexico.

  1. BJ says:

    I haven’t watched the video yet, Carrie, because I’m afraid of how it would upset me. But, I am so glad to know how quickly the farmers reacted and changed things. If anything, I guess I’d fault them for not keeping a closer eye on the welfare of their animals, but the devotion, commitment, and concern they showed once the problem was revealed is laudable.

    It would be wonderful if MFA had to go back and revisit the place and present how things were so quickly remedied. Rather than try to get people to stop buying dairy products, they could pat themselves on the back for being instrumental in getting a problem corrected.

    • This video breaks my heart, and to think it happened only a few hours away in my home state:( I used to show dairy heifers and to watch was sickening, with that being said I am proud of the action that was taken once they knew the abuse was occurring and hope that everyone realizes that this is not common and producers love their animals and tray them with respect. Thankyou for sharing.

      • karen says:

        The content in this news report has angered me greatly and I want to reply. I live in New Mexico, and am embarrassed about this report of terrible treatment of animals. I don’t understand how anyone can justify this behavior and I truly hope all that feel it is wrong will come forward in their comments. All we have is the support of numbers in the plight for fairness, so please support us with your comments and hopefully others will be made aware of this mistreatment.

  2. clyde says:

    Why don’t these people go film what is happening on a farm where they treat their animals with respect, once again it is a small group of people pushing one of their social agendas.

    • Yes, clyde. MFA is in the fund raising business. No one will send them a nickel if they went undercover and DIDN’T find any abuse or neglect. No one would be outraged except the tiny group of angry misanthropic keyboard jockeys convinced that owning and working with animals is, by itself, cruel. They justify attacking everyone for the actions of a few by sharing these videos. Sharing them feeds a kind of addiction. Like serial rapists and killers who get all charged up by revisiting their crimes and enjoy shocking others with their gruesome tales. Who would condemn anyone who claims to want to put an end to animal abuse (rhetorical question)?

  3. Lynette says:

    I suggest you get a life.. if all you can do is run around and film what you consider abuse… People are trying to make a living to produce food to put on your table all you can do is run your mouth.. How about you say thank you for working 12 hours say 7 days week 365 days of the year in all weather elements so that you will have food on your table…..

  4. Cheryl Zvacek says:

    My only concern (besides these organizations trying to ruin animal agriculture) is using MFA in place of Mercy for Animals. The reasoning behind this is that we have an organization that is called MFA that provides feed and other supplies for farmers and I would hate for them to get confused with each other. Keep up the awesome work!

    • dairycarrie says:

      Cheryl, MFA is a common abbreviation used for this organization. I doubt people would confuse the actions of one with the other.

  5. Edwin says:

    Big KUDOS to the other dairy farms who opened their doors to welcome the girls as the farmer shut down the operation.

  6. Marsha says:

    Mercy For Animals- The same group who, along with HSUS, opposed the requirement to report abuse within 24 hours of discovery. Kudos to the farm for taking quick and decisive action.

  7. if all you say is true then shouldn’t you be thanking MFA for the work they do in finding these abuses?

    • dairycarrie says:

      It would be a lot easier to thank them if they weren’t using the footage they find for their own gain. This video was filmed over the course of two months. There is no reason that the abuse needed to continue for that amount of time for any reason other that MFA’s want for more footage. While I am not a supporter of Ag-Gag laws, I don’t think it’s ok that this person filmed this abuse over that long of a time period before going to police.

      • I’m not an investigator but I think it would be too easy to dismiss a single incident. Establishing a pattern of abuse makes a more solid case. If this is allowed to go on that long how is it MFA’s fault?

        • dairycarrie says:

          Why should an undercover animal rights activist be considered an investigator? Shouldn’t an investigator be unbiased? MFA had the opportunity to end the abuse much earlier than they did. They did not take that opportunity because it would mean that they didn’t have the video footage that they wanted to use.

        • Would an unbiased investigator overlook this abuse? They have a bias sure, that’s why they’re there in the first place. What is the dairy industry doing to curtail these abuses is the question that needs to be answered instead of shooting the messenger? Your PETA debunking was on point but obvious abuse is obvious.

        • dairycarrie says:

          No they would not and I clearly state that this is abuse. I find it reprehensible that an activist will shirk their responsibility to report the abuse of animals in a timely matter and defend their actions by taking on the title of “investigator”. An undercover activist of any kind does not equal an investigator.
          As an industry there are many, many programs in place to help educate farmers and employees on proper cattle handling techniques, ensure cow well being and in general stop abuse. However as long as there is a human factor involved the potential for a person to be a real asshole is still there. What would you like to see our industry do to stop abuse?

        • I don’t care to quibble on semantics. Let’s call the person who filmed this Hitler With A Video Camera, whatever. What was captured though is obviously something wrong that needs to be fixed. And it was, hooray! But it took Hitler With A Video Camera to catch it. What do other companies do to curtail negative human factors? I’m not an expert in that. Psychological profiling? Surveillance cameras? Tighter oversight?

        • dairycarrie says:

          Education, cameras and tighter oversight would certainly help. Which is what our industry groups are encouraging farmers to implement on their farms.

    • Sam says:

      if they were only interested in stopping the abuse, sure, but how much of that footage was edited out. The person running the video should have immediately made it known to his superior. If that didn’t stop the abuse, then he should have went to the owners and made them aware of the abuse. Which in this case would have stopped it immediately. It doesn’t take 40 work days to establish a pattern of abuse, after his first week of work, he should have had enough evidence to stop it. But it isn’t about stopping the abuse, it is about stopping an industry from existing, in this case the Dairy industry, and just for the record, I am not a dairy farmer in any way shape or form.

      • Jamie says:

        I recently read, My Gentle Barn, and the amount of evidence they had to present to authorities before anyone took action to investigate the insanely disgusting abuse was crazy. It took them a long time before they could get one of the worst backyard breeders shut down and he was selling animals to people torturing them and proud of it. My guess is that MFA has to present a monument of evidence before anyone pays any attention.

        • dairycarrie says:

          I’ve never read that book but I will look it up. MFA is very adept at using social media and the press. If they had footage of any abuse on a farm, even one incident of it and the authorities ignored it, they could and I am sure they would use their press connections and social media presence to force the issue. They certainly didn’t need 2 months of videotaping to get enough footage to get people calling for the heads of those involved.

  8. I’m breaking this off and starting new thread for formatting reasons:

    dairycarrie said:
    “Education, cameras and tighter oversight would certainly help. Which is what our industry groups are encouraging farmers to implement on their farms.”

    Do you think those encouragements by industry are fair?

    • dairycarrie says:

      Thanks for starting a new thread, I’ve been trying to fix that shrinking comment box in nested threads but I can’t seem to get it to work right.

      Anyways, to answer your question, yes. I think that our industry as a whole has as much a responsibility to our cows as to our customers. I think it’s a dumb move for a dairy farm with multiple employees to not have a camera system. Industry groups offering education on handling of down cows, proper stockmanship, better facility design and welfare techniques is nothing new. Dairy farmers have been able to go to classes and seminars for years to learn. However I will say that for small farmers who don’t have help and for farmers outside of dairy centric areas those opportunities are harder to make happen. I am also happy to see that more of these classes are being offered in Spanish for the people that are hands on with cows on many of the farms. We have great organizations like this one (http://www.pdpw.org/programs_and_events.php) that focus only on education and training. Our main industry group and national checkoff organization have created the FARM Program to help ensure animal welfare (http://www.nationaldairyfarm.com/) and I think it goes a long way in setting standards in our industry. I do with the program wasn’t as geared towards large dairy farms as it is and that it had some teeth but it’s a solid program.

      • Yeo-dairyman says:

        Hi Carrie, does your operation participate in the FARM program? Does your cooperative require it? Do you and hubs refer to written protocols when deciding what to do with a cow? Do you provide him with annual employee training? You make a great point about being geared toward large farms. It seems to justify large farms at the expense of smaller ones. It’s pretty tough for a 40 cow dairy with just one thin or lame cow they are working with and meet any benchmarks of 98-99%. But a 4000 cow dairy can have 40 of them and meet the high standards. Is the further demise of the small dairy farm what the concerned consumer is looking for?

        • dairycarrie says:

          We do not participate in the program at this time. The issues you bring up here with written protocols and trainings not being very practical for small farms are the same concerns I have about the program.

      • Yeo-dairyman says:

        We don’t either, and I’m glad to hear we’re not alone in our concerns. But our member-owned cooperative is going to be forcing us to participate if we wish to remain members. They are doing this in no small part due to the occurrence of videos like this, and the perception that the FARM program is the answer to the problem. I guess if it is the answer, even us agvocates are going to have to walk the walk and help drive the nails in the coffin of the last small, family operated dairy farms.

        • Yeo-dairyman says:

          Unfortunately I’m not smart enough to be on facebook, so I’ll have to give kudos to Mr. Richter’s comments today here. How can you strongly advocate for this and fuel the fire of cooperatives forcing this on their members when you don’t even join the program on your own operation? My research has shown that at least one of the advisory board members of Validus has a history of kowtowing to PETA.

        • dairycarrie says:

          It is worrisome to me that there are members of our industry so resistant to listening to our customers. What we have been doing isn’t working very well for us. It’s time to figure out how we can balance our customer’s expectations for us with modern farming. The FARM program is a step towards finding that balance. The program isn’t perfect but not having some sort of program isn’t an option.

          As to our lack of participation, our coop had talked about enrolling, but ended up not doing so. Putting the ball back in our court. I discussed doing an audit with Validus at Expo and intend to follow through. Meanwhile I have done a good amount of research on the program and we already use most of the practices they suggest. We will need to do something about the paperwork side of things but as I also learned at Expo, there is a new program from Merck called Dairy365 that has tools to help bridge that gap.

        • Yeo-dairyman says:

          I understand your concern, but which customers are we supposed to listen to? Although they don’t make as much noise, the majority of consumers want a supply chain that provides quality products at the least possible cost. Administering feel-good verification programs and third party audits costs money and adds to cost of the product. One of the “customers” we are told is looking for this is McDonalds. I challenge anyone to enter a McDonalds restaurant and find any significant number of their customers who give a rat’s rear-end about this. It’s a few marketing people in the corporate offices who are pushing this and attempting to mold and indoctrinate their customers into accepting societal change. PETA openly stated at their meetings on college campuses 20 years ago that their goal was for their supporters to enter jobs throughout the food industry and use those positions to further their agenda. Sure, the practices FARM suggests seem reasonable and widely practiced now, but with time will slowly chip away and evolve into more oppressive requirements to align with animal rights specifications.

          If certain customers want something different, why is there a need to balance it with modern farming? We are in a free market to practice whatever kind of farming practices we wish to pursue a market with. Organic is an example of this. I have so far chosen not to follow this path, mainly due to the inability to use modern antibiotics to cure a sick animal and return her to productivity. But after watching Frontline on PBS the other night, I can see the validity of why customers might want this. Does this mean I should push for the entire industry to go organic? No way–it only means I should analyze my own business plan and reconsider whether I can sustainably make this transition myself into this growing market. This may be the only answer left for the small, family operated farm.

          I appreciate your willingness to seek animal care verification independent of your cooperative. The FARM program is available to individual producers as well. I know there are second-party evaluators not affiliated with coops–possibly check with extension veterinary staff. And thank you very much for the info on Dairy365. This will be a helpful resource when the silk suits force us into participating.

  9. Betty Jo Lill says:

    I spend a great deal of time reading about farming practices from farmers all over the country. And, I know how we farm – that we care for our animals, the land we farm, and raising safe crops. I’ve learned to recognize extremist views and I do not ever look at their videos. If I saw animals being abused I would report it, not go undercover and make a video. I put these groups in the same category as people that do the abuse. I have horses and am well aware of the abuse that exists with these animals, the slaughter issue and the kill buyers. I will not engage in any conversation with extremists whose purpose is not to protect and promote the humane treatment of animals but to promote their own views. I certainly believe that Carrie and her farm operation treat their cows with respect and dignity and I believe the same for the 99% of farmers out there doing the right thing. Thanks Carrie for your informative post.

    • Jamie says:

      I recently read, My Gentle Barn, and I was shocked to learn about the amount of evidence they had to present to authorities before anyone took action to investigate the insanely disgusting abuse of any backyard breeder and proud animal torturer (literally torture, for fun). It took them a long time before they could get one of the worst backyard breeders shut down and he was selling animals to people torturing them and proud of it. My guess is that MFA has to present a monument of evidence before anyone pays any attention.

  10. Chrystal Kiefer says:

    Thank you for posting this! My family and I live on part of my parent’s dairy farm and I will admit that my blood boils when I see anti-farming messages spread like wildfire on social media. It is great to find someone on my side for once — instead of a news feed that constantly gives into the fear tactics of those that promote their anti-farming agenda!

  11. Sarah says:

    Thanks for sharing your perspective on this! I really like how you calculated the number of dairy farmers in the United States to show that farmers really do care about their animals. Your point on child abuse is excellent. We don’t automatically assume anyone with children is treating them poorly…there are people however who have that automatic assumption about farmers. Thanks for the inside scoop on livestock care and life on a farm!

  12. Justin Bartholomay says:

    Great article Carrie. I couldn’t agree more when you said you hope that the people in the video will be prosecuted. Most people assume that ag-related people always stand by other ag-related people. This isn’t always the case, such as in this issue. It’s important that animal abusers are penalized properly as its extremely an inhumane gesture. As I have lived and grown up on a beef operation I agree so strongly with the way that animals are treated and how important it is for the owners to treat their animals properly. Good inclusion of facts and opinion. Awesome read!

  13. Reanna says:

    If you have nothing to hide, why are you so worried??

    • dairycarrie says:

      How about I paint you with the same brush as all the other vegan animal activists out there. How many ways can you be tied to someone that doesn’t represent you or your values? If you’re good, what do you have to hide?

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