Independent, nationally and world-renowned academic and professional experts in farmed animal welfare and veterinary medicine reviewed the video footage from MFA's undercover investigation at Ontario Livestock Sales. Below are some of their statements:
Temple Grandin, PhD, PAS
Dr. Grandin is considered the world's leading expert on farmed-animal welfare. She is an associate professor of livestock behavior at Colorado State University and an animal welfare advisor to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the meat industry. Dr. Grandin states:
The handling was very rough and kicking animals is not acceptable. If this auction had been a federally inspected meat packing plant, they would have suspended inspection and shut them down.
Holly Cheever, DVM
Dr. Cheever is a veterinary practitioner, licensed in the states of New York and Vermont, who has had a lifetime of exposure to dairy cattle. Dr. Cheever is a graduate of Cornell’s School of Veterinary Medicine and assists local and state law enforcement officers in the investigation and prosecution of animal abuse, frequently in cases involving farmed animals. Dr Cheever states:
Throughout the footage, the animals are treated roughly and no care is given for those who are clearly dying and should not be left to expire over a prolonged period. … The abusive actions of the workers in this facility serve to increase fear and resistance, rather than to minimize it. There is no place for this kind of brutality in animal handling.
Bernard E. Rollin, PhD
Dr. Rollin is Distinguished Professor of Animal Sciences at Colorado State University and is well-known internationally for his over 30 years of work in animal welfare. He was a major architect of federal laws protecting laboratory animals, and has written two books on farmed-animal welfare. He serves on the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production and is an expert witness on animal welfare issues in the U.S. and abroad.
The workers shown kicking, beating, dragging, pummeling, throwing, choking the animals are either totally ignorant of proper animal handling, or, what is more likely the case, are gratuitously unconcerned with the suffering of the animals. … This kind of egregious and outrageous treatment of animals should not be permitted to persist unchecked. The people depicted on the video, and the managers who allow such behavior, should be prosecuted to the fullest extent allowed by the law, and should never be permitted to work with animals again.
Armaiti May, DVM, CVA
Dr. May is a practicing veterinarian with experience treating farmed animals, who received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from U.C. Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. May states:
My overall impression is that the facility where this footage was taken is that it lacks regard for the basic welfare of the animals in its care and does not have proper supervision of its workers. I recommend that charges of animal cruelty be brought against the workers involved and that the auction facility be shut down for cruel treatment of animals and lack of proper oversight of its workers.
Debra Teachout, DVM, MVSc
Dr. Teachout is a practicing veterinarian who graduated from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. She also holds an advanced degree in veterinary clinical pathology from Western College of Veterinary Medicine and has completed additional coursework in farmed-animal welfare. Dr. Teachout states:
There appears to be a prevailing culture of deliberate mistreatment and willful neglect of animals in this facility. … Vigorously hitting and kicking animals for no reason is egregious cruelty, and there is far too much of that behavior here. The same can be said for dragging animals by ears and/or horns. The actions of some of the workers towards the animals reveal underlying brutality and absolute disregard for the welfare of the animal. … Animals are suffering at this facility, and it should cease operation immediately.
Lee Schrader, DVM
Dr. Schrader is a practicing veterinarian, who obtained her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Schrader has over 35 years of experience working with animals, particularly animals with serious, difficult-to-diagnose disorders. Dr. Schrader states:
The handling of the creatures at this auction facility falls far below the standard of care and results in severe and unnecessary pain and suffering. The abuse suffered by these animals cannot be allowed to continue.
Sara Shields, PhD
Sara Shields holds a doctorate in animal behavior from the University of California, Davis, and has extensive experience as a research scientist, teacher, and consultant in animal welfare.
Much of the handling was blatantly abusive; kicking, throwing, and dropping animals is never acceptable and paddles, meant to gently encourage forward movement, should not be misused to aggressively strike the animals. … Downed animals, those too injured or sick to stand and walk on their own accord, should receive immediate veterinary attention, or if they are unlikely to recover, they should be euthanized without delay. … It is not acceptable to drag animals by their limbs or ears, nor is it acceptable to leave them to slowly die. There was an obvious lack of appropriate care for the non-ambulatory animals depicted in the video.