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Texas Factory Farm Workers Caught on Video Beating Calves with Pickaxes


Earlier this week, the animal protection organization, Mercy For Animals, released undercover video footage of serious animal abuse at a Texas factory farm.

The video footage was recorded by a farm employee at E6 Cattle Co. in Hart, Texas and shows unthinkable cruelties by workers who use hammers and pickaxes to bash in the skulls of young calves. The video also shows the workers dragging the calves by their ears, kicking animals in the head, burning them and standing on their necks and ribs. Injuries including open sores, swollen joints and severed hooves were filmed, as well as the budding horns of calves being burned out of their skulls without painkillers. The severely beaten calves—while still alive and conscious—were thrown onto piles of other calves, where workers left them to die painfully without any veterinary attention.

Kirt Espenson, the owner of E6, which rears nearly 10,000 calves for use on dairy farms, acknowledged on hidden camera that the company does not provide medical care to “crossbred” calves—leaving many to suffer to death from untreated illnesses and injuries. Espenson also required employees to bash in the skulls of calves with hammers—approving their use and failing to provide an appropriate alternative.

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From the Organic Authority Files

This new undercover animal cruelty investigation comes on the heels of large agribusiness interests in Iowa, Florida and Minnesota that are working to pass legislation that would criminalize such efforts, concealing abusive treatments from the public.

Mercy for Animals is seeking criminal prosecution against the factory farming company on the grounds of cruelty to animals. “This case graphically illustrates the often cruel and abusive plight farmed animals in Texas face,” said Nathan Runkle, Executive Director of Mercy For Animals. “We must adopt stronger and stricter state and federal laws to prevent and discourage farmers from beating and neglecting animals.”

View the Mercy for Animals footage here.

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

Photo: Ilya Schurov

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