Several retailers, including Jewel-Osco Strack & Van Til, and Family Express, have removed Fairlife dairy products from their shelves in an effort to maintain high animal welfare standards across all areas of business. This is in response to the public release of an undercover video revealing inhumane animal treatment at Indiana’s Fair Oaks Farms.
The video, which shows extremely graphic footage, was recorded last year by an investigator for Animal Recovery Mission (ARM), a Miami-based animal rights group. The investigator worked for Fair Oaks Farms, which is one of the largest dairy producers in the country, for several months. In the video he shot, farm employees are kicking, slapping, and using branding irons to burn the faces of newborn calves. Considering how many years this farm has been in business, it’s hard to number how many calves have suffered this inhumane treatment.
The systemic and illegal abuse of animals, which is depicted in the video, is being deemed the “largest undercover dairy investigation in history,” according to ARM. The undercover investigator was hired as a calf care employee, and reported consistent abuse to newborn calves during his entire three months at Fair Oaks Farms. He reported that calves were beaten with steel rebars, kneed in their spines, slammed on the ground, and hit in the face with hard plastic milk bottles.
Fairlife responded to this video with the statement, “We do not condone any type of abuse and are taking this information seriously.” Fair Oaks Farms founder Mike McClowskey is a veterinarian and is extremely disappointed that he was not made aware of this awful treatment sooner, and he is accepting full responsibility for what has happened. The four employees that are shown in the video have since been fired and actions are being taken to prevent further abuse to the animals at Fair Oaks Farms. Local police authorities are demanding the names of the employees to hold them accountable for their actions.