Cut Ties: Cheese Company kicks Conklin Farms to Curb & Big Bond set for Dairy Worker

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UPDATE: (WOIO) - Minerva Farms is cutting all ties with Conklin Dairy Farms. Minerva announced Thursday it will stop doing business with Conklin immediately.

The news came after an animal welfare group released graphic video Tuesday exposing sickening abuse at the Plain City, Ohio farm.

Minerva doesn't sell the milk to stores, but uses it to make cheese.

Meantime, a dairy farmer remains behind bars in lieu of $100K bond.

Billy Joe Gregg, Junior is charged with 12 counts of animal cruelty. The 25-year-old will return to court on June 10th to enter a plea to the horrific charges.

19 Action News has learned from court officials that Gregg does not have an attorney and has requested a public defender for the emotionally charged case.

Gregg was one of the men shown viciously and maliciously abusing calves and cows in video, which was secretly taped over the past month.

National animal protection organization, Mercy For Animals, had a farm employee record the video.

Soon after the arrest, MFA released this statement:

"We commend the City Prosecutor and law enforcement for their swift and decisive action to protect farmed animals and the public by apprehending and charging Gregg," said Nathan Runkle, Executive Director of Mercy For Animals. "The deplorable conditions uncovered at Conklin Dairy Farms highlight the reality that animal agriculture is incapable of self-regulation and that meaningful federal and state laws must be implemented and strengthened to prevent egregious cruelty to farmed animals."

The group released the hidden camera video at a news conference Wednesday morning.

"This is probably the most shocking video I have seen in my 10 years of doing cruelty investigations," said Nathan Runkle, Mercy for Animals.

The video shows dairy farm workers beating cows in the face with crowbars, stabbing them with pitchforks, breaking their tails, and punching, throwing, and kicking calves.

Click HERE help pass tougher animal abuse laws in Ohio.

During a four-week undercover investigation between April and May at Conklin Dairy Farms in Plain City, Ohio, MFA's investigator documented farm workers:

  • Violently punching young calves in the face, body slamming them to the ground, and pulling and throwing them by their ears
  • Routinely using pitchforks to stab cows in the face, legs, and stomach
  • Kicking "downed" cows (those too injured to stand) in the face and neck - abuse carried out and encouraged by the farm's owner
  • Maliciously beating restrained cows in the face with crowbars - some attacks involving over 40 blows to the head
  • Twisting cows' tails until the bones snapped
  • Bragging about stabbing, dragging, shooting, breaking bones, and beating cows and calves to death

After viewing the footage, Dr. Temple Grandin, a world-renowned cattle welfare expert and advisor to the USDA, stated: "The handling of both the calves and cows was atrocious animal abuse. These people were deliberately torturing animals and their behavior was totally sickening."

"This case graphically illustrates the often cruel and abusive plight farmed animals in Ohio face," said Runkle. "We must adopt stronger and stricter state and federal laws to prevent and discourage farmers from abusing and beating animals."

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