Animal abuse video from Idaho dairy sparks nationwide controversy
A undercover video of animal abuse at an Idaho dairy is at the center of a nationwide debate. Half a dozen states consider these types of videos as criminal activity white others see the videos as an invasion of privacy.
The United States Humane Society honors these graphic undercover videos showing animal cruelty and mistreatment at factory farms. Head of the Humane Society- Wayne Pacelle says that undercover videos have been the key to tough new anti-cruelty laws.
Agriculture lobby groups have made an effort to expand the ban. Five-states have made laws making it a crime to go under cover on farm properties to record videos.
In Iowa the law passed a few months after an ABC news report that won a Genesis Award featuring undercover footage at an Iowa egg factory taped by the Mercy For Animals. Iowa Governor Terry Branstad said, “If somebody comes on somebody else’s property through fraud or deception on lying, that is a serious violation of people’s rights.”
An undercover investigator with Mercy For Animals got a job at a Huge Dairy owned by the Betancourts near Twin Falls and made disturbing videos of workers abusing cattle. The abuse included the use of electric prods. The five employees caught on tape were fired.
The Betancourts said they had no idea of the mistreatment until investigators told them about the video and they received phone and email death threats. They now use the video to train employees on their zero tolerance policy for animal cruelty.
In January, 25-year-old Jesus Garza pleaded guilty to animal abuse related to the video. There are still warrants out for two other workers involved.