Animal abuse allegations spark an investigation into an Indiana dairy farm

FAIR OAKS, Ind. -- Allegation of animal abuse at an Indiana dairy farm have sparked interest of the local authorities.

The Animal Recovery Mission (ARM) is claiming Fair Oaks Dairy Farm, who produces dairy products for the Fairlife milk brand, is mistreating its cows.

Representatives for ARM released undercover videos Tuesday of what they say is an independent investigation depicting "disturbing evidence of ongoing animal cruelty."

Wednesday the Newton County Sheriff's Office said they are aware of the video and activities, and have launched an active investigation into the claims.

Fair Oaks Farms founder Mike McCloskey released a statement in response to allegations made by ARM, saying they were not aware at the time of any abuse.

The statement reads in part: "It is with great disappointment to find, after closely reviewing the released ARM video, that there were five individuals committing multiple instances of animal cruelty and despicable judgement. Of the five, four were our employees and one was a 3rd party truck driver who was picking up calves.... I am disgusted by and take full responsibility for the actions seen in the footage, as it goes against everything that we stand for in regards to responsible cow care and comfort. The employees featured in the video exercised a complete and total disregard for the documented training that all employees go through to ensure the comfort, safety and well-being of our animals."

McCloskey also declared the company will investigate all claims and take disciplinary action on anyone who violates humane animal care practices.

Sheriff's officials said they have requested information on Fair Oaks Dairy Farm employees who may have been fired due to the allegations, and are working with the Newton County Prosecutor's Office to file charges.

Jewel Osco also announced Wednesday they will be pulling Fairlife products from their shelves in wake of the video.

"Jewel-Osco is removing all Fairlife products after an undercover video was made public showing the inhumane treatment of animals at a Fair Oaks Farms in Jasper County, IN. At Jewel-Osco we strive to maintain high animal welfare standards across all areas of our business, and work in partnership
with our vendors to ensure those standards are upheld. We apologize for any inconvenience," Jewel Osco representatives said in a statement.

If you are aware of any animal cruelty, you should report it immediately to the Newton County Sheriff's Office at 219-474-5661 or their tip line 219-234-7014.
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