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May 27, 2010   Email to Friend 

Darryal Ray
(334) 613-4187
May 27, 2010

Bob Stallman
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The American Farm Bureau Federation urged Ohio authorities to "pursue the maximum penalties possible" against a dairy farm worker for the acts of animal cruelty shown in an undercover video this week.

"We encourage law enforcement authorities with jurisdiction in this case to pursue the maximum penalties possible for those responsible for these heinous acts of animal cruelty," said AFBF President Bob Stallman in a state issued today. "Further, we encourage a deeper investigation into all aspects of how the animals on the farm in question have been treated. There is no excuse for the treatment those animals received."

An Ohio dairy farm worker has been charged with 12 counts of cruelty to animals after Mercy for Animals released a video showing him and others beating cows with crowbars and poking them with pitchforks.

The charged worker, Billy Joe Gregg Jr., 25, was jailed in Mechanicsburg and was to be arraigned today.

Each count of cruelty to animals Gregg faces has a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a $750 fine.

Conklin Dairy Farms, a fourth-generation family operation based in Plain City, condemned the video footage and said Gregg has been fired. It said it was cooperating with authorities.

"We will not condone animal abuse on our farm," the dairy said in a statement released Wednesday. "We have launched our own internal investigation into this matter and will be conducting interviews with everyone on our farm who works with our animals."

Stallman said the abuse shown in the video was "unacceptable."

"There is never justification for the type of mistreatment and cruelty that was displayed in the video," he said. "As farmers and ranchers, we must and we do care for our animals and the well-being of our animals. Caring for farm animals is an ethic that guides our every move. Even one case of abuse of farm animals is unacceptable.

"As farmers and ranchers, we know we are accountable for the humane treatment of the livestock in our care," Stallman continued. "We know it is our responsibility to do everything in our power to prevent abuse to farm animals. As members of the agricultural community, we also know it is our responsibility to stop any such actions if and when they are brought to our attention, including alerting appropriate law enforcement officials."

It is the duty of all farmers and ranchers, Stallman said, to remain vigilant against such atrocities.

"America's farmers and ranchers will not stand for cruelty against farm animals, and we must continue to be vigilant to stop those few who give livestock production a bad name," said Stallman. "People who abuse farm animals do not deserve a spot in the agricultural community or in livestock production as a business."

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