Fury over animal cruelty on organic farm as footage shows shepherd kicking cows in the face [Video]

An organic farm that supplies award-winning cheeses to high-end retailers and farmers’ markets has fired a worker following revelations about the cruelty.

Bath Soft Cheese Co, which manufactures a number of “supreme champion” cheeses, claims to put the well-being of its cows at the heart of its operation.

Its website even carries the mantra “Take care of your cows and your cows will take care of you”.

However, Animal Justice Project activists say evidence from seven months of secret filming on the company’s dairy farm reveals alarming cruelty.

Animal Justice Project Founder Claire Palmer said: “The images captured on this multi-award winning organic dairy contrast starkly with the image portrayed by the farm.”

She added: “Unresponsive kicks, slaps, punches, yelling and cursing at cows;  the despair and anguish of calves who cried for days after being separated from their mothers;  and the pitiful individual housing offered to young people for up to a month after separation, preventing gambling and other normal <a class=social behaviors ”” class=”blkBorder img-share” style=”max-width:100%” />

She added: “Unresponsive kicks, slaps, punches, yelling and cursing at cows; the despair and anguish of calves who cried for days after being separated from their mothers; and the pitiful individual housing offered to young people for up to a month after separation, preventing gambling and other normal social behaviors ”

There is video evidence of at least one cow with severe lameness, while calves as young as a few days old were kept in tight pens with very little space and no contact with others.

There is video evidence of at least one cow with severe lameness, while calves as young as a few days old were kept in tight pens with very little space and no contact with others.

A staff member was seen slapping, punching and kicking cows; as well as hitting them with plastic pipes around the hindquarters, legs and udders.

Footage of the cows being separated from their calves has shown them howling in distress for many hours.

There is video evidence of at least one cow with severe lameness, while calves as young as a few days old were kept in tight pens with very little space and no contact with others.

Bath Soft Cheese Co, which manufactures a number of

Bath Soft Cheese Co, which manufactures a number of “supreme champion” cheeses, claims to place the welfare of its cows at the heart of its operation

Marc Bekoff, professor emeritus of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado, said:

Marc Bekoff, professor emeritus of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado, said: “It is never okay to hit and kick farm animals, especially when they are not. ‘have nowhere to go, as this footage shows “

The images showed the calves being abused in what is called disbudding, which involves removing their horns.

And the bull calves were sent to slaughter soon after birth, rather than being bred for beef, which is considered the more ethical approach.

Bath Soft Cheese, based around a dairy farm in Kelston, supplies organic retailers such as Able & Cole, Planet Organic and farmers’ markets.

Its award-winning cheeses include Wyfe of Bath, Merry Wyfe, and Bath Blue, some of which have won awards.

Hugh Padfield, whose family has managed the 240-acre park farm since 1914, said: “We are horrified by the scenes of a shepherd beating cows.  It is totally unacceptable.  The staff member involved was recently hired, we have taken disciplinary action and he will be leaving the farm '

Hugh Padfield, whose family has managed the 240-acre park farm since 1914, said: “We are horrified by the scenes of a shepherd beating cows. It is totally unacceptable. The staff member involved was recently hired, we have taken disciplinary action and he will be leaving the farm ‘

However, the owners of the company say they are “horrified” by the video evidence of the behavior of a shepherd, who was fired, but they reject the other allegations.

The Animal Justice Project showed the images to veterinary and welfare experts, including University of Colorado Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Marc Bekoff.

He said: “It is never okay to hit and kick farm animals, especially when they have nowhere to go, as this footage shows.

“Cows can distinguish between people who handle them roughly and those who are gentle with them. “

Veterinarian Dr Molly Vasanthakumar said images of lame cows were “most likely exacerbated by long wait times in collection yards and slurry-filled concrete passages before milking.”

She added: “On this particular farm, the calves are kept in small individual pens, with no contact with other animals other than by bars. It is impossible to see how curious young animals are supposed to display natural behaviors under these conditions.

The images showed the calves being abused during what is called disbudding, which involves removing their horns with a hot iron

The images showed the calves being abused during what is called disbudding, which involves removing their horns with a hot iron

Animal Justice Project Founder Claire Palmer said, “The images captured on this multi-award winning organic dairy contrast starkly with the image portrayed by the farm.

“Kicks, slaps, punches, yells and curses at cows; the despair and anguish of calves who cried for days after being separated from their mothers; and the pitiful individual housing offered to young people for up to a month after separation, preventing gambling and other normal social behaviors. ‘

Hugh Padfield, whose family has managed the 240-acre park farm since 1914, said: “We are horrified by the scenes of a shepherd beating cows. It is totally unacceptable. The staff member involved has recently been hired, we have taken disciplinary action and he will be leaving the farm.

“Our philosophy is to be open, friendly, approachable and honest in everything we do, which is why the farm has public viewing areas.

“Our goal is to maintain the highest welfare standards on our farm and we expect our staff to adhere to these standards at all times. “

Mr Padfield, said the video footage gave a misleading picture of his activities.

A staff member was seen slapping, punching and kicking cows;  as well as hitting them with plastic pipes around the hindquarters, legs and udders

A staff member was seen slapping, punching and kicking cows; as well as hitting them with plastic pipes around the hindquarters, legs and udders

“Newly separated calves are kept in individual pens to make sure they drink all of their milk each day. When we are sure they are strong, they are transferred to larger pens with other calves of the same age, ”he said.

“We keep the lame cows separately in the central loose litter area, which one of the cameras filmed. This area is dominated by an observation area. Cows must leave this area to be examined by the veterinarian who comes regularly.

“Dehorning is done to prevent cows from injuring themselves. Each time we do it, it is done under local anesthesia and under veterinary supervision.

He said the reason the male calves were sent for slaughter, rather than raised for beef, is because of an outbreak of bovine tuberculosis. This explanation was rejected by the social protection group.

Mr Padfield added: ‘We are concerned that these images, which are heavily edited to mislead, selectively chosen and depicted without context, do not represent what is happening on our farm on a daily basis, where animal welfare is at the heart of everything we do. ‘


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