June 19, 2014

Another Worker at Idaho's Largest Dairy Convicted of Animal Abuse

javier2.jpgGraphic hidden-camera footage of animal abuse secretly recorded by Mercy For Animals in 2012 at Bettencourt Dairies, Idaho's largest dairy factory farm, has led to the criminal conviction of Javier Victor Rojas-Loayza, a dairy worker who was caught on video viciously beating and shocking cows. Yesterday, Rojas-Loayza was sentenced to two years probation, fees and fines of nearly $500, and 9 days on the sheriff's work detail. He is also barred from working with animals while on probation.

Rojas-Loayza is the second Bettencourt worker to be convicted of animal cruelty as as result of MFA's investigation. Last year, Jesus Garza, another Bettencourt worker, was convicted of animal cruelty for violently beating a cow. Garza was also caught on video sexually abusing a cow. A manager from the facility was also charged with multiple counts of animal cruelty but he is believed to have fled the jurisdiction.

Watch the undercover footage here:

 

Following the release of the undercover investigation, In-N-Out Burger, Wendy's, and other fast-food chains dropped Bettencourt Dairies as a supplier, and Kraft Foods - the largest food company in the United States - announced a new policy requiring all of its dairy suppliers to phase out the cruel practice of tail docking cattle, among other important animal welfare policies.

However, Rojas-Loayza's conviction may be the last such conviction in Idaho now that lawmakers have passed a controversial "ag-gag" law designed to prohibit whistleblowers from exposing animal abuse and other crimes at factory farms and slaughterhouses. Idaho's ag-gag law, enacted just months before Rojas-Loayza's guilty plea, was prompted by Idaho dairy factory farmers and has been widely criticized as a desperate attempt to sweep evidence of animal cruelty under the rug and protect animal abusers from public scrutiny.

Although Idaho lawmakers bowed to corporate interests, compassionate consumers like you can help put an end to the inherent cruelty of the factory farming industry by ditching dairy and other animal products in favor of delicious, cruelty-free alternatives. For more information, visit ChooseVeg.com
 
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