A recent undercover investigation conducted by animal-rights group Compassion Over Killing (COK) found rampant abuse at dairy producer Mason Dixon Farms—a supplier for butter company Land O’ Lakes and Dairy Farmers of America (DFA). COK’s undercover footage revealed workers kicking cows in their faces and udders, excessively prodding them, and twisting their tails. Further, the footage revealed hazardous conditions for workers such as insufficient protection from toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde. Companies associated with DFA—the nation’s largest milk marketing cooperative—include Pizza Hut, Domino’s, Little Caesar’s, Chobani, and Papa John’s. “Our heartbreaking video exposes horrific animal cruelty at Mason Dixon, a supplier to some of the biggest names in dairy,” COK’s General Counsel Cheryl Leahy said. “This is the devastating reality of where milk comes from, and as a mother, I am especially saddened to see gentle mother cows being systematically exploited and abused by this industry.” Mason Dixon Farms has terminated one employee after the release of the footage. COK’s undercover investigations have been effective in bringing cruelty within the animal agriculture industry to light. In 2016, COK’s investigation of a breeder chick facility at a Tyson-contracted farm was paramount to ending “boning”—a common industry-wide practice where a piece of plastic is forced into the beak of baby male chicks to restrict their food intake.
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