Hidden-camera video secretly shot at a Texas factory farm by an undercover investigator with Mercy For Animals has led to cruelty to animals charges against the owner and workers at E6 Cattle Co. The video shows workers bashing in the skulls of calves with hammers and pickaxes, dragging them by their ears, standing on their necks, and neglecting them to die without proper veterinary care.
Castro County District Attorney James R. Horton says warrants have been issued, charging five individuals with felonies and two with misdemeanors. Five former employees of E6 Cattle are facing charges of Cruelty to Livestock/Animals, a state jail felony. Those being charged are Manuel Soto, Christian Garcia, Daniel Dumas, Jose Martinez and Francisco Hernandez. Kirt Espenson, the owner, and Arturo Olmos, the foreman, are both facing Class A Misdemeanor charges for Cruelty to Livestock. A Class A Misdemeanor is punishable by fine up to $4,000 or one year in jail.
During the undercover investigation at E6 Cattle Co. in Hart, Texas - a factory farm which rears nearly 10,000 calves for use on dairy farms - MFA's investigator documented:
- Workers bludgeoning calves in their skulls with pickaxes and hammers
- Beaten calves, still alive and conscious, thrown onto piles to slowly suffer and die
- Workers kicking sick or injured calves in the head, and standing on their necks and ribs
- Calves confined to squalid hutches, thick with manure and urine buildup, and barely large enough for the calves to turn around or fully extend their legs
- Gruesome injuries, including open sores, swollen joints and severed hooves
- Sick, injured and dying calves denied any medical care
"We commend the Castro County District Attorney and Sheriff's Office for taking swift and decisive action in bringing these animal abusers to justice," said Nathan Runkle, Executive Director of Mercy For Animals. "Let this case be a wake-up call to the dairy industry that cruelty to animals will not be tolerated."
While the charges signal good news and hope for farmed animals, compassionate consumers nationwide can prevent cruelty to animals at each meal by adopting a vegan diet.