An undercover video was released yesterday showing employees at Fair Oaks Farms abusing calves at one of its calf raising facilities.
According to Mike McCloskey, an owner of Fair Oaks, five individuals were involved in the abuse activity. Of the five, four were employees and one was a contract truck driver. Even prior to the video being released, McCloskey says three of the employees were released due to abuse allegations. The employment of a fourth employee was terminated once the video was released, and the company employing the contract driver was told that the person was not allowed on Fair Oaks Farms again.
“It is a shock and an eye-opener for us to discover that under our watch, we had employees who showed disregard for our animals, our processes and for the rule of law,” McCloskey said in a statement following the video’s release. “The video shines a light on an area that, despite our thorough training, employee onboarding procedures and overall commitment to animal welfare, needs improvement.”
The management at Fair Oaks was notified several months ago that the undercover videos were produced, and at that time McCloskey and his wife Sue issued a response in advance of the video release. In addition, a third-party review was conducted and subsequent retraining of employees was done.
Regardless of the outcome, McCloskey said he takes full responsibility for the actions depicted in the footage.
“It goes against everything that we stand for in regards to responsible cow care and comfort,” he said. “The employees featured in the video exercised a complete and total disregard for the documented training that all employees go through to ensure the comfort, safety and well-being of our animals.”
Fair Oaks Farms operates dairies in northern Indiana, including a popular tourist destination that offers tours to tens of thousands of consumers each year.
The activist group is calling for CocaCola to sever ties with Fair Oaks Farms. Together they produce fairlife milk.
For the full official statement from Fair Oaks, click here.
For additional information on responses to undercover videos, see below: