Is it a case of animal cruelty or an accepted practice on the farm? That’s what state police were tasked with determining after an animal rights group raised concerns about a dairy farm in Northumberland County.
A video from “People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals” makes some harsh claims against Reitz Dairy Farm in Shamokin Township.
PETA claims it obtained undercover video recorded this past spring by a whistleblower on the farm. PETA alerted state police who say they interviewed the owners and searched the farm including all barns and reached the following conclusion: “Based on observations and other factors involved in common accepted farming and agricultural practices and procedures, no violations of the animal cruelty laws were observed.”
“This video doesn’t lie. There’s eleven weeks worth of evidence in their hands and they cannot come to a final charging decision based on a five hour visit,” PETA Vice President Daniel Paden said.
PETA stopped in Wilkes-Barre to discuss the case. PETA says it shared its findings with renowned livestock consultant Temple Grandin who responded in an email, “Some of these cows should have been culled before they deteriorated to such poor conditions. This is a poorly managed dairy where cows were suffering.”
PETA says the practices it’s uncovered at Reitz Farm are typical of what it sees in the agricultural industry but has never responded to as many complaints or over such an extended period of time.
“If the law is not going to protect these animals, if the industry is not going to do right by these animals it’s up to consumers who care about animals to stop buying dairy products and to choose vegan options instead,” Paden said.