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Dairy Worker’s Manure Drowning Raises Issues with Ag

A 37-year-old father died at an Iowa dairy after crashing a truck into and drowning in a lagoon of liquid and sludgy excrement.

Farm labor union United Farm Workers reported that a dairy worker in Idaho drowned in a manure lagoon last month. Ruperto Vazquez-Carrera was found in a pond of liquid waste at Sunrise Organic Dairy in Paul, ID after he had arrived at work for the morning and drove off in a company truck. Suspicions were raised when Vazquez-Carrera didn’t report for his duties at other areas of the dairy later in the morning, and by 4pm, his body was pulled from the lagoon. “He was here every day, never complained, and never had a problem,” Dirk Reitsma, owner of the dairy, told Times-News. “He was a top-notch guy.” The death comes a year after a similar incident in Washington occurred, months after a father and son were killed by noxious fumes at a pig farm, and after the Occupational Health and Safety Administration revealed that accidental employee amputations at numerous slaughterhouses nationwide have become incredibly common, with as many as one per month occurring at Tyson plants. Just more evidence as to why animal agriculture is an unsafe industry for animals, workers, and consumers alike.

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