CINCINNATi - An Ohio dairy farm worker is under arrest and is facing 12 counts of cruelty to animals after video was released of him savagely beating, kicking and punching cows on the Conklin Dairy Farm.
The Associated Press reports the worker is 25-year-old Billy Jo Gregg, Jr. of Delaware, Ohio.
The Marysville prosecutor says he will be arraigned Thursday. He is currently being held in a Mechanicsburg, Ohio jail.
The video released by Mercy For Animals is so graphic, some animals rights groups say they've never seen anything like it before.
In the video Gregg and other workers are seen beating cows and calves with pitchforks on the Ohio dairy farm.
Mercy For Animals say the video was shot over a 30-day period at the farm just 30 minutes outside of Columbus.
Mercy For Animals says it didn't take long for its undercover investigator to capture video of workers abusing cows at the Conklin Dairy Farm in Plain City, Ohio.
The video shows workers picking up baby calves and tossing them to the ground, as well as repeatedly beating cows in the head with their fists and farm equipment.
"From the first day of the investigation workers were documented punching, kicking, throwing, beating and stabbing cows and calves with pitchforks," said Matt Rice, of Mercy For Animals.
The group says the Mercy For Animals investigator was hired as a herdsman by the farm.
He worked there for nearly a month documenting the abuse of the animals.
Channel 9 is not certain of the names of the other people in the video seen abusing the animals.
Joe Cornely, of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, says after reviewing the video that the animals were obviously tortured.
However, Cornely questions why Mercy For Animals let the abuse go on for nearly 30 days.
"Why did somebody not go to the authorities right off the bat instead of spending 30
days collecting video? That makes me question the true motivation of the people shooting this video," Cornely said.
Cornely points out that Issue 2 was passed last November allowing the creation of a Livestock Care Standards Board.
There is an amendment on the upcoming November ballot filed by Ohio Livestock Initiative 2010 that seeks an amendment to Issue 2 asking for minimum standards be adopted to protect animals.
Mercy For Animals' Matt Rice says the group wanted to document as much evidence as possible to take to prosecutors.
Rice says the group wants to find a way to protect farm animals.
In Ohio offenders can only be prosecuted on misdemeanor charges for animal cruelty.
"Although companion animal cruelty cases often warrant felony level charges, farm animals are not afforded the same protection even though they suffer pain, stress and fear in the same way," Rice said at a press conference in downtown Cincinnati.
Conklin Dairy Farms said it is cooperating with authorities after firing Gregg Wednesday.
Our partners at Citybeat conducted their own investigation into farm animal abuses (see "Related Links" below).
Mercy for Animals
Ohio Farm Bureau Federation
CityBeat: "Helping All Creatures Great and Small"
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