Two Florida dairy farm workers have been found guilty of animal abuse.
The convicted abusers were caught on undercover camera last year - by investigators from the Animal Recovery Mission [ARM] - subjecting animals to beatings, and stabbing them with sharp PVC pipes. ARM described the treatment as 'torture'.
The abuse occurred at McArthur dairy farm in Okeechobee, Florida. McArthur Dairy is owned by Dean Foods Inc, who is the largest dairy producer in the United States and the second largest dairy producer in the world.
Preceding Judge Jerald D Bryant, ordered that the two defendants, Fernando Cruz and Naul Dorantes-Garcia, be charged with one count of a misdemeanor animal cruelty.
Their sentences stated a judication of guilt with the following terms; 20 days in County Jail (or weekend detail) with one-year probation and 72 hrs of community service with an animal rescue located in Okeechobee County or animal services. A fine of $400 was also implemented.
Judge Jerald D Bryant - an ex-dairy farm worker himself - said: "As a dairy farm worker, I never used a pipe or anything else to move a cow- they just move by themselves."
The investigators captured horrifying footage (Video: ARM)
ARM's Founder, Richard 'Kudo' Couto, who attended the sentencing, said: "This being the first conviction in the history of the State of Florida, at a working dairy farm, I am pleased with the outcome, despite the light sentencing.
"This country has a long way to go in sentencing its animals abusers."
An ARM spokesperson added: "McArthur Dairy was a part of a series of four investigations as a part of its Factory Farm division in Florida’s largest raw milk production region, highlighting the abuse and torment that animals are exposed to on a daily basis."