Last week, Compassion Over Killing released a heart-breaking undercover video exposing the callous and violent mistreatment of newborn calves at Quanah Cattle Co. in Weld County, Colorado. Quanah buys, temporarily confines, and then sells these very young animals, most of whom are male and are unwanted in the dairy industry since they won’t produce milk.
Just days old, and many with their umbilical cord still hanging from their bodies, these delicate calves often arrive at Quanah’s facility too feeble or frightened to walk. While working at Quanah, our investigator witnessed and – using a hidden camera – painstakingly documented the violence they’re forced to endure: these fragile, baby animals are dragged by their limbs, pulled by their ears, lifted by their tails, kicked, flipped, slammed, and thrown around.
Animal handling expert Dr. Temple Grandin of Colorado State University decried the cruelty seen in our video, calling it “severe abuse” and “not acceptable” while further noting that “If this facility had been a slaughter plant, the USDA would have shut them down.”
Upon seeing our video, Dr. Bernard Rollin and Terry Engle, also from CSU’s Animal Science Dept., said: “These workers should be prosecuted to the fullest extent the law allows.”
The cruelty to calves uncovered in this investigation was so egregious that COK believes these acts we caught on film violate Colorado’s animal protection laws. We turned evidence over to local authorities, and we are heartened to report that after viewing our video evidence, the Weld County Sheriff’s Office held its own press conference announcing that three alleged animal abusers have been charged with criminal animal cruelty. Quanah Cattle Co. also issued a statement that those three men have been fired.
COK applauds the Sheriff’s Office for taking this case seriously. For the sake of these calves, as well as other farmed animals, we hope justice will swiftly be served, and we look forward to continuing to work with law enforcement to ensure that happens.
Whistleblowing exposés like this are often the only glimpse the public ever sees of the systemic mistreatment of farmed animals. That’s why it’s so vital for these images – as disturbing as they may be – to be shared as widely as possible.
We’re proud to say that our investigation and the subsequent cruelty case continues making headlines — from the Associated Press, Huffington Post, FOX-31, NBC-9, ABC-7 and more. This extensive media coverage is exposing the mistreatment of dairy calves to countless consumers as well as highlighting the miseries that animal agribusiness is desperately trying to keep hidden behind closed doors.
You can take action today by sharing our video and letting others know that the best way we can stand up for animals is to simply leave them off our plates.