Fair Oaks Farms in northwest Indiana is under investigation after an online video showed animals being abused.
The activist organization Animal Recovery Mission, known as ARM, released the video. One of the group’s investigators recorded footage while working undercover as an employee at the dairy farm.
ARM’s video includes graphic images of dead calves, animal abuse, and alleged illegal drug use.
Fair Oaks Farms co-founder Mike McCloskey said in a statement the company had fired the four employees shown in the video and wanted to work with ARM going forward.
“It is a shock and an eye-opener for us to discover that under our watch, we had employees who showed disregard for our animals, our processes and for the rule of law. This ARM video shines a light on an area that – despite our thorough training, employee onboarding procedures and overall commitment to animal welfare – needs improvement. However, as I have stated before, the fact that ARM takes months before notifying owners or authorities regarding on-going animal abuse is concerning. I have personally reached out to ARM’s founder, Richard Couto, to discuss a more symbiotic relationship but he has yet to reach back,” McCloskey said. “A full investigation of all aspects of the video is underway, during and after which disciplinary action will be taken, including termination and criminal prosecution, of any and all employees and managers who have violated either our animal care practices or the law or both.”
Food & Wine magazine has called Fair Oaks Farms the “Disneyland of Agricultural Tourism,” drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors annually.
The Newton County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the claims in the video.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.