Animal abuse in the dairy industry is not tolerated.

Animal abuse in the dairy industry is not tolerated.

That’s why, when DFA members Jim and Marie Goedert of Cactus-Acres Holsteins in Fort Morgan, Colo., were notified of employees mistreating animals at their operation, they took immediate action. The Morgan County, Colo., Sheriff’s Office recently contacted the Goederts to discuss a video they received from a former "employee" of the dairy, who turned out to be an undercover agent from the animal rights extremist group Mercy For Animals. Over a two-month period, this individual recorded incidents of abuse.

After two months of recording, this is the highly edited and highly manipulated video MFA created. It does not reflect what we have witnessed at the dairy. Click here to watch the video. Read the Goedert statement.

When the Goederts viewed the video, they immediately disciplined the employees involved. Many had already been terminated due to concerns about animal mistreatment. The family also is fully cooperating with authorities and intends to press charges against the people mistreating their animals.

It is disheartening that groups like Mercy For Animals, which claims to have animal care and wellness at heart, seek change through deceit and misconception, rather than working with the industry to proactively address their concerns.

When animal abuse is witnessed, it should be immediately reported, not recorded.

On dairy farms throughout the country, animal care is the number one priority. On Cactus-Acres Holsteins, when the instance of abuse or mistreatment was brought to light, consequences were swift, and policies and procedures immediately were put into place to prevent further instances.

DFA works with several industry organizations to continuously improve industry standards and best practices to ensure the nation’s dairy herd is well taken care of. We were the first in the industry to develop an on-farm evaluation program in 2007 called the Gold Standard Dairy Program. The program incorporates industry best practices, resources for producers and extensive training for field staff in the areas of animal care and wellness, environmental responsibility, employee training and milk safety and quality.

As its animal care component, the Gold Standard Dairy Program utilizes the National Dairy Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) Program. FARM establishes industry guidelines for animal care best practices and utilizes second-party on-farm evaluations and third-party verification to ensure the integrity of the program.

The dairy industry has a history of dedication to the care and wellness of animals, and family farms throughout the country are committed to their herds — from one cow to 10,000.

Release: DFA urges activist groups to report abuse immediately

Statement from Monica Massey, Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs