An animal rights group called Mercy for Animals (MFA) has released a highly graphic video it says it secretly recorded at an Idaho dairy. The graphic video shows cows being kicked, punched and dragged with tractors.
The video is more noteworthy, the group says, because Idaho-based Bettencourt Dairies supplies cheese to the Burger King chain.
The undercover video, which has led to criminal animal cruelty charges against three employees, including a manager at the facility, reveals workers beating, kicking, jumping on, and shocking cows and dragging a downed cow with a tractor.
"The abuse of the downed cow with electric prods and dragging with the tractor was horrific animal abuse," said animal welfare expert and Colorado State University professor Dr. Temple Grandin, after viewing the footage. "If this abusive treatment had occurred at a slaughter plant, the plant would have been shut down by the USDA. The atrocious treatment of cows at this dairy is an indicator of a total lack of management supervision."
Burger King released a statement saying the company does not tolerate or condone cruelty to animals.
MFAs said it is urging Burger King to end its supplier relationship with Bettencourt Dairies and adopt new animal welfare guidelines, including zero tolerance for kicking, punching, and shocking cows, requiring suppliers to prohibit painful and unnecessary mutilations of animals, requiring suppliers to provide a safe, clean, and sanitary environment for cattle, and more.
Following what it said was an undercover investigation, MFA said it immediately alerted authorities and presented a detailed legal petition and compiled evidence of violations of Idaho's anti-cruelty laws at this facility to the Idaho Department of Agriculture. MFA said the three employees, including a facility manager, have been charged with criminal cruelty to animals as a result of its investigation.
The video is below. Viewer discretion is advised.