Hidden-Camera Investigation By Mercy For Animals Exposes Shocking Cruelty To Cows At DiGiorno Pizza Cheese Supplier

Animal Rights Group Rebrands DiGiorno as "DisGusting" for Allowing Cows to Be Kicked, Whipped, Beaten and Dragged with Tractors - Urges Glendale-based Company to Adopt Strict Animal Welfare Policies

Dec 10, 2013, 08:30 ET from Mercy For Animals

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Shocking hidden-camera video of cows being beaten, stabbed, and dragged by tractors secretly recorded at a cheese supplier to DiGiorno was released today by the animal protection organization Mercy For Animals at SliceOfCruelty.com. DiGiorno, owned by California-based Nestle USA, is the nation's largest frozen pizza manufacturer.

The disturbing undercover video—recorded at Wiese Brothers Farms in Greenleaf, Wisconsin—reveals the following:

  • Workers viciously kicking, beating, stabbing and violently whipping cows in the face and body
  • Workers dragging "downed" cows by their fragile legs and necks using chains attached to tractors
  • Sick or injured cows suffering from open wounds, infections and injuries left to suffer without proper veterinary care
  • Filthy conditions, including feces-covered floors that cause cows to regularly slip, fall and injure themselves
  • Baby calves being dragged away from their mothers immediately after birth and having their tails docked without any painkillers

After viewing the undercover video, world-renowned farmed animal welfare expert Dr. Temple Grandin stated: "Dragging live cows, and completely suspending them with the cow lift is severe animal abuse." Grandin further condemned the DiGiorno supplier, asserting: "The actions of these people went beyond rough handling and escalated to the level of cruelty. Kicking, beating, and hard whipping of downed cows is abusive."

Mercy For Animals promptly alerted law enforcement to the unconscionable cruelty occurring at the DiGiorno cheese supplier and presented authorities with meticulously compiled evidence of violations of local anti-cruelty laws. MFA is urging law enforcement to act quickly in bringing charges against the workers involved in this egregious animal abuse. Law enforcement is currently investigating the matter.

Mercy For Animals is also calling on DiGiorno to immediately adopt meaningful animal welfare guidelines, including zero tolerance for kicking, punching and shocking cows; requiring suppliers to prohibit painful and unnecessary mutilations of animals; and requiring suppliers to provide a safe, clean and sanitary environment for cattle.

"Treated as mere milk-producing machines, cows exploited and abused for cheese used on DiGiorno pizzas endure lives filled with misery and deprivation," said MFA's executive director, Nathan Runkle. "No socially responsible corporation should support dairy operations that beat, kick, mutilate and neglect animals. Due to its complete lack of meaningful animal welfare standards, DiGiorno has allowed a culture of cruelty to flourish in its cheese supply chain."

To view the undercover video, visit www.SliceOfCruelty.com.

SOURCE Mercy For Animals