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Thu Jun 6, 2019, 12:22 PM

Alleged animal abuse at Fair Oaks Farms under investigation after activists release graphic video

airlife, a popular brand of ultrafiltered milk, will be pulled from shelves at all Jewel-Osco stores after an animal welfare group released an undercover video showing alleged abuse of calves at the milk company’s flagship dairy farm in Indiana, the grocery chain announced Wednesday.

The video released Tuesday by Animal Recovery Mission was taken by an undercover investigator posing as a calf care employee at Fair Oaks Farms, located about an hour and a half from downtown Chicago in Jasper County, Ind.

Fair Oaks promotes its animal welfare practices and hosts Dairy Adventure tours where people can get a “fun-filled look at the life of a cow.” Owner Michael McCloskey, a veterinarian, issued a statement Wednesday expressing disappointment, disgust and shock at the footage capturing some employees mistreating the animals.

The video, taken during the investigator’s three months of employment at the farm, shows newborn calves being thrown in and out of their huts by employees, young calves being kicked in the head and the carcasses of dead calves piled together in the dirt. The footage additionally shows employees striking calves with their hands and steel rods and burning them with branding irons.

In a report released with the video, Miami-based Animal Recovery Mission said it has never seen this level of daily abuse to newborn animals in its nine years of investigations. It has submitted its findings to the Newtown County Sheriff’s Office, which is investigating.

Itasca-based Jewel-Osco, which has 187 stores and is the largest grocery chain in the Chicago area, said it is removing all Fairlife products as a result of the “inhumane treatment of animals” shown in the video.


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