Companies Under Fire For Ties To Idaho Dairy Where Cow Abuse Took Place

Oct 12, 2012

A California animal rights group is publicly asking Burger King to sever its ties with an Idaho dairy. The demand from Mercy for Animals comes after the group shot undercover video at a dairy barn over the summer. Scott Graf reports from Boise State Public Radio.

The disturbing video was made public on Wednesday. It shows workers stomping, punching and beating cows. One lame cow is shown with a chain around its neck being dragged behind a tractor.

Mercy for Animals says the abuse shouldn’t be tolerated by companies like Burger King and Kraft. Their products include milk from the southern Idaho dairy.

So far, the companies haven’t abided by the demands the animal rights group is making. Burger King says it gets less than 1 percent of its cheese from milk collected at the dairy. It says Mercy for Animals’ decision to connect the Burger King name to the abuse is an irresponsible attack.

Five dairy workers were fired when the owner of the operation was shown the video in late August. Three of the workers face animal cruelty charges.

The head of the Idaho Dairymen’s Association says he’s confident the conditions shown in the video are rare. But he also says the video is a learning opportunity for the dairy industry.

Copyright 2012 Northwest Public Radio