The Dairy is called Winchester Dairy and, until yesterday, they made cheese for Leprino Foods, a company that sells mozarella to “Domino’s, Papa John’s, and Pizza Hut along with Nestle brands, including Hot Pockets and Stouffer’s frozen pizzas and lasagnas” according to Denver’s ABC Channel 7.
workers whipping, kicking and punching cows. The hidden-camera video also showed sick or injured cows being dragged with a tractor while workers shock them with electric prods in the genitals.
Leprino Foods terminated all shipments from the New Mexico-based Winchester Dairy immediately upon notice of the above video, a result of undercover investigative work by the group Mercy For Animals.
This isn’t the first time Mercy For Animals has caught a Leprino-affiliated dairy abusing their animals. In 2010, Leprino Foods cut ties with Willet Dairy in Locke, N.Y. for exactly the same type of abuse (video). Neither of these are isolated incidents, it’s a very real problem.
In 2010, Leprino Foods issued the following statement regarding the cases of abuse at the Willet Dairy.
“We take these issues very, very seriously and we will respond,” Reidy said. “We continue to view animal health and welfare as a matter of critical importance. We’ll continue to work with our milk suppliers on these matters.”
Leprino Foods has failed to do the one thing that would have the greatest positive impact to reduce cruelty to animals in dairies and that’s to set and enforce animal welfare policies among its many milk suppliers.
Hopefully this video will garner enough attention that the typical “shoot the messenger” type of dialogue that often happens can be circumvented this time. It’s a problem with a solution and, I think, we should treat it as such.