In August of 2017, ARM commenced a three-month long undercover investigation at a small, family dairy farm, located in Okeechobee (Florida) – one of the most prominent areas in the state for dairy production. In operation since 1961, Burnham Farms, Inc operates with an average of 800 dairy cows. Its production lines generate profits just shy of $1 million dollars annually. Whilst registered and operating as a legally formed company, this business is subjecting animals to some of the most horrific forms of daily torture and violent abuse.
During this investigation, an ARM investigator was hired by Burnham Dairy Farms as a milker. This investigator has an extensive resume as a retired war veteran who served both in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Upon the initial day working at the Burnham farm, this investigator captured clear evidence of animal abuse inside Burnham’s milking parlor. The incriminating and disturbing video footage obtained by ARM included, but was not limited to, the following;
The dairy cows are contained in holding barns during the 305 days a year of the milk production phase. Oftentimes, they overheat and collapse from exhaustion and heat due to extremely poor living conditions and insufficient ventilation.
The cows are contained in cramped animal holding areas that are overcrowded and unsanitary. These unstable structures also pose as a safety hazard for both animal and workers who are onsite and are in violation of building and zoning codes.
Due to poor drainage systems, the animals are forced to stand and lay in up to 1 foot of water and fecal matter.
Major safety hazards for both animal and workers were witnessed with the presence of exposed electrical cables, in close proximity of the water and fecal matter in the holding and milking areas.
In the milking barn, the dairy cows are being chased, prodded with stun guns, dragged, beaten, whipped with wet and knotted towels and belts with metal clads.
Supervisors of the farm teach employees to beat the animals so they could retrieve milk faster.
Downer cows (cows who are sick, weak or injured) are electrocuted, prodded, screamed at, kicked and dragged to a holding area where they are left for weeks with no treatment. During this investigation, ARM operatives never witnessed a licensed veterinarian, or medical aid, onsite to help any the cows.
Cows are forcibly inseminated and were witnessed to having untrained workers put an arms length into the animals anus, as part of the artificial insemination process. This process caused the animals extreme pain and suffering.
During insemination, void of following any sanitary protocols, the same insemination glove would often be used on multiple cows and in effect, transfer bodily fluids and diseases into multiple cows.
Employees were often witnessed laughing and finding humor in ‘raping’ the cows.
After cows would give birth, their calves are then immediately removed from their mothers and isolated to extremely small and unsanitary wire holding areas. These areas had inadequate, and often no shade from the extremities of rain and harsh sun exposure.
Using thermometers, temperatures in the calf holding areas would frequently reach 109 degrees, and higher. Often times, the calves had no drinking water and due to weather patterns in Florida, were living in knee deep mud and water. This calf isolation area is also considered to be a high flood zone.
EXCLUSIVE VIDEO FOOTAGE OF BURNHAM FARMS, INC
- Newborn calves are fed by having 3ft metal rods shoved down their throats. Many employees incorrectly position the pipe and fill the calves lungs with fluids often resulting in death. The milk that they are given is from sick and diseased cows who have mastitis, leaving blood and pus in their milk.
- Due to the deprivation of proper nutrition and shelter, calves contract Pneumonia, Salmonella, Coccidia, Amomassol bloat, scours, dehydration, heat stroke and hypothermia. At no time during the investigation did the calves receive any medical attention from a veterinarian or farm employees. In fact, the farm’s supervisors instruct their personnel to refrain from any life saving treatment and to simply ‘let them die’.
- Living Calves and dead calves are often contained in the same holding pen, posing as a serious risk of spreading diseases.
- Dead animals are not being properly buried or removed from the property, as state guidelines stipulate. Deceased cows are piled atop one another and left to decay. Besides the major environmental threat that this is already causing, decaying bodily fluids are possibly entering streams that run through the dumping site which then enter public waterways becoming a public health hazard as well.
Amongst the overall extreme animal cruelty and abuse, health & safety and environmental violations are also occurring at Burnham Farms.
To learn more about this investigation, please click HERE to read the entire findings of the Larson dairy farm investigation.
ARM’s immediate goal in the case of Burnham Dairy Farms, Inc, is to enforce misdemeanor and felony criminal charges upon the workers, managers and owners of Burnham Dairy, and to bring the operation to a complete close.
Detailed reports have been submitted to various official governing agencies, including the main suppliers of South East Milk and Publix corporations.
With so many alternatives of dairy available in todays society, there is an imminent need to end the cruelty associated within these operations for our own consumption. ARMs message stands to adopt plant-based diets, compassionate lifestyles and to go vegan.