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Mercy For Animals Undercover Investigation Exposes Shocking Cruelty To Cows At Burger King Cheese Supplier

MIAMI, Oct. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Shocking hidden-camera video of animal abuse secretly recorded at a cheese supplier to Miami-based Burger King was released today by the animal protection organization Mercy For Animals. The disturbing undercover video, which has led to criminal animal cruelty charges against three employees, including a manager at the facility, reveals workers viciously beating, kicking, jumping on, and shocking cows and violently twisting their tails in order to deliberately inflict pain, dragging a downed cow with a tractor, and allowing sick or injured animals to languish with open wounds, broken bones, and infections without proper veterinary care.

Mercy For Animals is urging Burger King to end its supplier relationship with Bettencourt Dairies and adopt new animal welfare guidelines, including zero tolerance for kicking, punching, and shocking cows, requiring suppliers to prohibit painful and unnecessary mutilations of animals, requiring suppliers to provide a safe, clean, and sanitary environment for cattle, and more.

The disturbing video footage showing extreme animal abuse was taken at Bettencourt Dairies, a Burger King dairy supplier in Murtaugh, Twin Falls County, Idaho.

"The abuse of the downed cow with electric prods and dragging with the tractor was horrific animal abuse," world-renowned farmed animal welfare expert Dr. Temple Grandin said after viewing the footage. "If this abusive treatment had occurred at a slaughter plant, the plant would have been shut down by the USDA. The atrocious treatment of cows at this dairy is an indicator of a total lack of management supervision."

Following the undercover investigation, MFA immediately alerted authorities and presented a detailed legal petition and meticulously compiled evidence of violations of Idaho's anti-cruelty laws at this facility to the Idaho Department of Agriculture. As a result of MFA's investigation, three employees, including a facility manager, have been charged with criminal cruelty to animals. A pre-trial date for worker Jesus Garza has been set for Tuesday, October 16 at the Twin Falls County Courthouse in Idaho. Manager Jose Acensio and worker Javier Rojas-Loayza are still at large.

"The secret ingredient in Burger King's cheese is horrific animal abuse," said MFA's executive director, Nathan Runkle. "Due to its complete lack of meaningful animal welfare standards, Burger King has allowed a culture of cruelty to fester at the factory farms supplying cheese for its burgers. No socially responsible corporation should support dairy operations that beat, kick, mutilate, confine, and neglect animals. Burger King must take immediate actions to prevent further abuse at its suppliers."

To view the undercover video, visit

SOURCE Mercy For Animals