Thursday, April 30, 2015

New Mexico: Chaves Co. dairy workers charged after undercover cow abuse video

NEW MEXICO -- Four dairy workers have been charged with animal cruelty in connection to an animal activist group's undercover video showing the abuse of cows  at Winchester Dairy in Chaves County last fall.

According to court documents, Cesar Morales-Iniguez and Stephen Toublefield are each facing three counts, Luis Urbie Lira is facing two counts and Jesus Espinoza is charged with one count of animal cruelty.

"Mercy for Animals," the group behind the video, says an undercover investigator filmed workers punching, kicking, whipping and even shocking cows' genitals. The group also filmed workers dragging cows with tractors.

Mercy for Animals said the Winchester Dairy cows were denied veterinary care.

The dairy fired all employees and identified the alleged offenders in the video to law enforcement, according to the Associated Press.

Winchester Dairy produces milk for Leprino Foods, the world's largest producer of mozzarella cheese and a supplier to major pizza chains like Pizza Hut and Domino's.

Last Monday, Leprino Foods announced a new animal welfare policy for its dairy suppliers.

By Dec. 31, 2016, all suppliers must keep a safe and sanitary environment, provide pain relief during disbudding/dehorning and give appropriate veterinary care to animals.

(KOB 4 Albuquerque - Apr 30, 2015)

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