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INVESTIGATION: Animal rights group accuses dairy farmers of animal cruelty — again

The field observer recounted incidents of alleged abuse or neglect involving 28 cows and about 120 calves and said that farm managers refused to provide veterinary care for injured cattle.

ABC NEWS: ‘Nearly a decade ago, animal rights activists targeted a Pennsylvania dairy farm over its treatment of livestock. The effort fell flat. Now they’re back, launching a new round of allegations against the same family-run operation that milks hundreds of cows.

A PETA operative gained employment at Reitz Dairy Farm near Shamokin in central Pennsylvania this spring and spent two months surreptitiously shooting video that activists once again say shows severe maltreatment of the herd. The undercover probe sets up another potential legal tussle between People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and family farmers who say they properly care for their cattle…

The latest video, which PETA released publicly, purports to depict cows and calves wallowing in their own manure and urine in filthy barns with no bedding; cows with grotesquely swollen hind leg joints, or hocks, some of which had ruptured and were discharging blood and pus; animals with lameness; and a worker who uses a cane to repeatedly hit a cow that had become trapped in a stall, striking her on her sensitive udder.

The video was shot between April and June by a PETA field observer who got a full-time job at Reitz after PETA received a tip from one of the farm’s regular employees. In an affidavit, the field observer recounted incidents of alleged abuse or neglect involving 28 cows and about 120 calves and said that farm managers refused to provide veterinary care for injured cattle…

Dr. Holly Cheever, a veterinarian who testified at the Reitzes’ first trial and reviewed the new video for PETA, said that “severe hock injuries seem extremely common” on the farm and require treatment with antibiotics… The milk cannot be shipped for human consumption during treatment and for a ‘withdrawal’ period of several days thereafter,” she wrote in an analysis. “Thus, the economics dictate a complete lack of treatment”…

“Every day is pain and suffering for many of the animals at this farm,” said Dan Paden, PETA’s vice president of evidence analysis. “These animals are denied needed care for obvious injuries and severe lameness and they are kept in incredibly filthy conditions”… PETA officials presented their evidence to state police last week’. MORE… 

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