During July and September of 2017, ARM conducted undercover investigations upon the Davie Dairy farm, located in Okeechobee, Florida.
This stands as ARM’s fourth consecutive investigation exposing the realities of the misconduct, torture and abuse that goes on inside dairy farm operations, and the dairy industry as a whole.
One of the biggest concerns that was witnessed by ARM’s undercover operative, was the clear lack of treatment provided to newborn and juvenile calves, who are seen as a mere by-product. Through the use of surveillance equipment, some of the most disturbing violations captured included, but were not limited to;
Newborn calves are stripped from their mothers immediately and isolated in makeshift pens. In a matter of one-twee weeks, the newborns are then loaded into double decker trailers for transportation off site to another state. The calves are overcrowded and many panics and fall, or are trampled as they are prodded, whipped and kicked. Oftentimes, it was witnessed that electric prods were directed at the calves reproductive areas causing extreme pain.
Loading and offloading of the calves is executed in an extremely abusive form. Supervisors would instruct employees to move the calves by aggressively pulling on their ears and tails. Often they would grab them with such force, by the ear and tail, that at times the calves would be lifted off of the ground. Calves are then dragged by their ears and thrown into the trailer where they are smacked in the face by employees as they shove them into the crowded trailer.
The overall transportation process is very traumatic to the newborn calves. Employees are seen throwing calves into the air and into the second deck of a transport trailer. The calves are often flipped into the second deck and land onto their backs. They are packed so tight into the trailer that they must be forcefully pushed in. The dairy owner, Theodore Berman, is always present during the loading process and was fully aware of the mistreatment to the animals.
Onsite, juvenile cows are confined in small, dirt yards with barely any grass. Often times these areas become flooded and the dirt turns into thick mud. During the investigation, several juvenile cows were found stuck in the mud where they had ultimately drowned.
Calves were often observed panting and too weak to walk. Many died from from heat exhaustion. At times, the ARM Investigator was able to record temperatures exceeding 115 degrees. Water made available to the calves was always witnessed as being dirty and covered in algae, and on occasions, dead bird decomposing in the trough that the animals would have to drink from.
Dying calves and juvenile cows at Davie Dairy are not given any medical attention. The care takers informed ARM’s undercover operative that they are instructed not to give any life saving attention to the calves. Once the calves begin to show signs death they are not to treat them and to let them die. On occasion, a Davie Dairy supervisor instructed ARM’s Investigator (after bringing his concern of a dying calf to the supervisors attention), to let an ailing calf to die and pick it up the next day to bury it. This is a common practice at Davie Dairy.
When cows and calves are herded throughout the property, they are excessively kicked, whipped and electrically prodded. Employees also whip the cows repeatedly with fiberglass poles, as they are loaded onto trailers. These poles are intended to be utilized to sort out cattle, not to be used as an object to whip. On occasions, the cows were whipped so hard that the fiberglass pole would break. Ironically, these poles were handed out by site Supervisor.
As with the additional dairy farm investigations within in Florida, milk that is extracted from the dairy cows, is picked up by distribution trucks from Southeast Milk. Southeast Milk is a highly profitable co-op owned company that is made up of over 320 dairy farms, including Davie Dairy Farm. Here, dairy products are processed and distributed to large supermarket conglomerates such as Publix and Winn Dixie.
To read the entire report of Davie Dairy, CLICK HERE.
With these four investigations, ARM has produced concrete evidence that the forms of abuse, that are detailed in its reports, are not random acts but a daily ongoings which are clearly being adopted as normal and acceptable by employees, supervisors and the dairy farm owners alike.
By ARM releasing its footage, the goal is to create dramatic changes into animal welfare policies that are strictly monitored by governing agencies. A major part of ARM’s factory farm division is also to bring awareness to the general public regarding the truths behind where your food is coming from and the consequences that animals are paying for the products which they produce.
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. ARM’s message stands to adopt plant-based diets, compassionate lifestyles and to go vegan.