Three workers arrested for mistreating cows

Milking cows  
By: Ryan Lee Hall  

(Scroll down for video) Workers at a dairy farm were arrested and charged with mistreating cows, according to reports.

Five workers of a dairy in Idaho have been fired after an undercover video by animal rights activists showed mistreatment of cows, the dairy owner said.

Three of the workers have been charged with misdemeanor cruelty to animals, according to the records of Twin Falls County District Court. Luis Bettencourt, of Bettencourt Dairies, told the news media that his family operated the business for 30 years and was appalled by the video, which the group Mercy for Animals says represented workers and supervisors "violently beating cows, stomping, punching and kicking them in the face.”

The Idaho Department of Agriculture informed the dairy, and Bettencourt fired all individuals recorded in the abuse. Since then, the company has installed video cameras to watch employees.

"We are all devastated by this. We are family owned and we love our animals," Bettencourt told the news media. "It's something we do not allow, and it has been a tough five weeks."

Bettencourt Dairies, based in Wendell, Idaho, has 13 facilities with approximately 60,000 milking cows and about 500 employees, its website says. The video was taken outside Hansen Creek, Idaho, where some 10,000 Holstein cows are kept, the group of animal rights, said.

The 500 employees of 11 dairies have seen the video, and each signed a document on zero tolerance for animal abuse, Bettencourt said. The workers who have been charged are Jesus Garza, 24, Acensio Joseph, 28, and Javier Loayza Victor Rojas, 39.

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