FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Undercover Video Exposes Calves Being Beaten with Pickaxes at Texas Factory Farm
Hidden-Camera Investigation Reveals Calves Being Beaten with Pickaxes and Hammers, Thrown, Burned, and Neglected – Group Seeks Criminal Prosecution of Abusers
Hart, Texas – Hidden-camera video secretly shot at a Texas factory farm revealing shocking, malicious cruelty to calves has been released by Mercy For Animals – a national animal protection organization. The video, recorded by a farm employee, shows workers bashing in the skulls of calves with hammers and pickaxes, dragging them by their ears, standing on their necks, burning them, and neglecting them to die without proper veterinary care. The organization is now seeking criminal prosecution of the company on grounds of cruelty to animals.
During a recent undercover investigation at E6 Cattle Co. in Hart, Texas – a factory farm which rears nearly 10,000 calves for use on dairy farms – MFA’s investigator documented:
- Workers bludgeoning calves in their skulls with pickaxes and hammers – a killing practice condemned by the American Veterinary Medical Association
- Beaten calves, still alive and conscious, thrown onto piles to slowly suffer and die
- Workers kicking sick or injured calves in the head, and standing on their necks and ribs
- Calves confined to squalid hutches, thick with manure and urine buildup, and barely large enough for the calves to turn around or fully extend their legs
- Gruesome injuries, including open sores, swollen joints and severed hooves
- Sick, injured and dying calves denied any medical care
- The budding horns of calves burned out of their skulls without painkillers
Kirt Espenson, the owner of the factory farm, acknowledged on hidden camera that the company does not provide medical care to “crossbred” calves – leaving many to suffer to death from untreated illnesses and injuries. Espenson also required employees to bash in the skulls of calves with hammers – approving their use and failing to provide an appropriate alternative.
After viewing the footage, Dr. Temple Grandin, a world-renowned cattle welfare expert and advisor to the USDA and the meat industry, said: "It is obvious that both the management and the employees have no regard for animal welfare."
Promptly following the investigation, MFA presented an extensive legal complaint detailing numerous violations of Texas anti-cruelty law at E6 Cattle to the Castro County District Attorney and Sheriff’s Department. The evidence demonstrated an ongoing pattern of torture, unjustifiable infliction of pain and suffering on animals, and a failure to provide medical care. The case is currently under investigation.
This new undercover animal cruelty investigation comes at a time when agribusiness interests in Iowa, Florida, and Minnesota are working to pass legislation that would criminalize such efforts – seeking to conceal their abusive treatment of animals from public scrutiny.
“This case graphically illustrates the often cruel and abusive plight farmed animals in Texas face,” said Nathan Runkle, Executive Director of Mercy For Animals. “We must adopt stronger and stricter state and federal laws to prevent and discourage farmers from beating and neglecting animals.”
To view the undercover video, visit www.MercyForAnimals.org/calves
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