Wisconsin dairy farm target of undercover video

Another undercover video of animal abuse from Mercy for Animals, this one was taken at Weise Brothers Dairy Farm in Brown County. The animal rights group says the video was shot in October and November and shows workers on the farm mistreating cows. The video was given to NBC News who in turned showed it to officials from Nestlé’s pizza division. Nestlé’s uses cheese for its DiGiorno Pizza from Foremost Farms USA which gets milk from Weise’s dairy.

Nestlé’s then advised Foremost that they would not accept any cheese made from milk from Weise’s farm. Foremost Farms issued a statement saying they were “extremely disappointed by the animal treatment depicted in the video,” and went on to say the co-op is “no longer receiving milk from this farm.”

The Brown County Sheriff’s Office is investigating.

In a statement, Weise Brothers said they became aware of the video on November 26th and were “shocked and saddened to see a few of our employees not following our farm’s policies for proper animal care. We have zero tolerance for animal abuse.” The statement goes on to say “Within 24 hours after learning of the video, an independent animal care auditor from a national evaluation firm conducted a thorough review of the farm’s written protocols for animal handling and observed farm employees and the condition of the animals. “While they noted a few areas for improvement, their overall analysis indicated our animals are clean, well-cared for and treated appropriately by employees.” Beginning in early 2012, each employee of the farm reviewed and signed an animal treatment commitment pledge as a condition of employment.

As a result of the actions depicted in the video, two employees have been terminated and a third has been removed from animal-handling responsibilities. Three employees have been identified as specialists who will supervise the care and handling of any cow unable to get up without assistance. Employees will be shadowed by their supervisor periodically, and without notice, to ensure protocols in place are being met or exceeded.

The full Weise Brothers statement follows:

Wiese Brothers Farm is family owned and has been in the business of providing the highest quality milk for nearly two decades. On Tuesday, November 26, 2013, we became aware of video footage taken on our farm this fall. We are shocked and saddened to see a few of our employees not following our farm’s policies for proper animal care. We have zero tolerance for animal abuse. We are committed to providing optimal care and ask all our employees to demonstrate ongoing respect for every animal at all times.

We are dedicated not only to producing the highest quality milk, but also providing the best care for our animals through every stage of their lives. Because of our commitment to our cows, we work closely with veterinarians and dairy experts to ensure proper care, feeding, and management of our dairy cattle.

Our family has taken the following steps to address the situation:

  • We are cooperating fully with the local law enforcement.
  • Two employees have been terminated. A third employee has been removed from animal handling responsibilities. Further action will be taken if the investigation warrants it. Additionally, three employees have been identified as specialists who will supervise the care and handling of any cow unable to get up without assistance.
  • Within 24 hours after learning about the video, an independent animal care auditor from a national evaluation firm conducted a thorough review of our farm’s written protocols for animal handling and observed farm employees and the condition of our animals. While they noted a few areas for improvement, their overall analysis indicated our animals are clean, well cared for and treated appropriately by employees.
  • Beginning in early 2012, each of our employees reviewed and signed an animal treatment commitment pledge as part of the hiring process and condition of employment. We have updated that commitment and shared it with the employees who work in the special needs hospital area.
  • Employees will be shadowed by their supervisor periodically, and without notice, to ensure protocols in place are being met or exceeded.

Each of these actions, along with any others we add as appropriate, will help us ensure the behaviors seen in this video are never repeated on our farm.

-The Wiese Family

© Copyright 2013 Brownfield, All rights Reserved. Written For: Brownfield
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2 Comments

Elle

The video and the whole thing makes me sick. How can ANYONE treat any animal like that. People that abuse animals are totally sick in the head. I think these people should be prosecuted, and why aren’t the farm owners watching over there employees more carefully. I find it hard to believe the Weise farms had no idea this was going on. Come on they are just as guilty!!
Karma follows!!!!

Linda Parr

You as the owners of this 1 star operation should be heavily fined and go to jail. you and your brothers.
How ignorant. You had to know, just by looking at the wounds on these animals.It is your responsibility to manage and oversee your business unless you turned a blind eye. You dont deserve to own a farm,take care of any animals and supply us with food. I hope they shut you down…you deserve to be shut down. Your name has gone out to thousands…and it will come back to you.

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