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Is Fair Oaks Farm representative of the dairy industry?

Recently, video from Animal Recovery Mission was released from an undercover investigation of animal abuse occurring at Fair Oaks Farm.

Posted: Jun 7, 2019 6:45 PM
Updated: Dec 23, 2019 11:59 AM

HUNTINGTON, Ind. (WFFT) - Fair Oaks Farm is a dairy farm in the northwestern part of Indiana with tens of thousands of cattle.

Recently, an animal rights group called Animal Recovery Mission, released undercover video they obtained which highlighted the abuse and mistreatment of animals on the farm.

Damian Mason, who was a dairy farmer, is saying this is not what the dairy industry is like.

“I was shocked by it. I thought it was appalling. I was disgusted,” Mason said as his initial reaction to see the video of the abuse taking place at Fair Oaks Farms.

He says that’s not how the AG business is. Mason would know since he’s been in the ag industry his entire life, not just the dairy industry.

Mason said, "I’m around dairy operation a lot. I do business with large scale dairy operations right now and that is not standard treatment. That’s not standard protocol. I was bothered by it, just like our consumer would be."

The owner of Fair Oaks Farms, Dr. Mike McCloskey, recognizes that as well. He released a video statement in response to the video released by ARM.

"I am committed to never again to have to watch a video of our animals suffering the way that they suffered," said McCloskey.

McCloskey didn’t blame others in the statement, rather, outlined how he was going to change the policies and procedures in place. Putting in more security measures and more advanced cruelty training for the employees.

McCloskey said, "It is important that every employee understands that if there is any animal abuse, whatsoever, they will be prosecuted."

Mason says he and many farmers believe that if you treat your animal right, they’ll treat you right, and having been to Fair Oaks Farms, both on the tour and behind the scenes, Mason believes real change will come from it.

"I believe they did the right thing and I believe that his response is not only the accurate one, the right way to do it, I believe it was very genuine."

On Friday, ARM released an extended cut of the animal abuse that was happening at Fair Oaks Farms. You can watch that video here.

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