Animal group’s undercover video alleges animal cruelty at calf facility

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**WARNING: Viewers may find the video in the report above difficult to watch. It is graphic.

DENVER -- An animal rights group went into a northern Colorado business with a camera to shine the spotlight on what it says is cruelty to newborn calves.

It's a problem that has captured the attention of criminal investigators in Weld County.

Most of the calves are male. Dairy farms don't want them because they don't produce milk.

The video was shot at Quanah Cattle Co., a calf-raising facility owned by J.D. Heiskell & Co., a large commodity trading and livestock feed manufacturing company.

You can see the full undercover video here.

"Heartbreaking ... and illegal." That's how the advocacy group described the alleged treatment of newborn calves.

A member of the group Compassion Over Killing took the undercover video of calves at the Quanah Cattle Company in Weld County.

The Weld County Sheriff's Office confirms that investigators have seen the video and have launched an animal cruelty investigation.

Quanah workers pick up newborn calves from area dairy farms and then keep them in crates or pens for about a week before shipping them off to the slaughterhouse or calf-raising farm.

This type of facility is not regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

But Dr. Temple Grandin, an animal handling expert at Colorado State University says if it was it would be shut down.

The undercover video shows workers dragging the calves by the ears, legs and tails. The USDA prohibits that treatment.

Dr. Grandin points out some of the calves are so young you can see umbilical cords, and that's too young for them to have been removed from the dairy farm.

There are also pictures of dead calves.

Robert Hodgen, A Quanah manager, says he never saw that kind of treatment. But after seeing the undercover video he says he took immediate action.

"Absolutely I was unaware. That's not how we want to do business."

Hodgen says he has launched his own investigation and promises going forward that animals at the facility will be treated safely and humanely.

The manager says Quanah has just a handful of employees and he met with all of them Wednesday to make sure the treatment seen in the video is not occurring at the facility any more.

There are about 200 young calves in the buildings at Quanah's facility.



  • Billie K Arceneaux (@SweetestWilliam)

    I’m an old farm girl who’s had her fill of this ongoing carnage of a food industry gone amuck. Enough already! There is no way that Quanah management isn’t aware of (or cares) how horrific their operations are. As is too typical, they’ve failed to evolve to a minimum of conscience along with the hacks they’ve hired.

    Regulation?! If this doesn’t qualify as felony animal cruelty in Colorado, nothing does. The alleged “meeting” with offending iemployees should be foregone in favor of an appropriately excruciating dragging by the ears (or choice appendage) of these empty-headed bullies, to include the equally culpable upper echelon, to arraignment. Since they’ve shown that they’ve failed to use the VERY LEAST of standards for their operation, it should be shut down indefinitely.

  • beth

    ridiculous.. no animal should be treated that way.. that makes me sick to my stomach to see this video.. those workers should be picked up, dragged and thrown like that..

  • VeganPilotMarty

    Just stop eating them and ALL this cruelty will slowly but surely come to an end. Stop picking one kind of animal or young animals for your sympathy. They all deserve to live their own lives for their own reasons, not your palate or your profits.

  • Katy Butler

    This is just one farm out of thousands that do this. It’s beyond cruel. These calves are so young they can barley walk and these jerks expect them to jump out of a truck? The little guy that fell out and folded and snapped his neck is disgusting!

  • Jimmy Jones

    Please everyone call this farm and let them know how you fell! Only veiwers like us can make a diffrence! The phone number is 970 776 8787! They will answer! I already called a few times! This garm has been in operation for less then a year and with you help they could be closed by cristmas! I’m only one peoson so I need your help fellow coloradoans! This dose not happen in our wonderful state if we stand up!!!

  • Darlene

    When there is no proper training, this is what happens! Upper management is to bleam for this as well. Don’t just let one of the men go. All three men should be let go. Also the media is always gonna make it worse then what it really is. This is not even half of the bad that’s goes on at Quanah! This video was back in July-August. Why is it barley coming out now in November???

  • Brittney Hoots

    I am sadden and sickened by the acts of these people and this company. They should be shut down, I come from a cattle raising community and there is NOTHING that justifies that kind of treatment! Those are little babies and do not deserve that kind of treatment regardless of them being livestock or not. How can those people and that company even sleep at night! Colorado and USDA do the right thing and make sure this is taken care of, for real! Not just a slap on t wrist “we’ll do better next time” . I would also hope and pray there business significantly suffers along with their conscience.

  • Maida

    I realize calves & cows are a major source of our meat! But please don’t handle them like they’re trash! They already know they’re going to slaughter (check with many farmers & vets that will tell you their actions and heart rate prove it), just do it humanly and don’t traumatize them anymore than you do now!!!!!

  • Shiloh

    As an FFA member and an owner of livestock, Iam fully aware that this is not what Agriculture is about and this is not how any animal should or is treated in everyday life at the feedlot or kill plant. I personally visit kill plants and feedlots often due to the fact that my dad hauls these animals where they need to be. For something like this to happen is absolutely inappropriate and should be taken care of!! Anyone who believes that this is what agriculture about needs to think twice.

  • Provoked

    Sickening! We can all make sure this never happens again by withdrawing our support of meat and dairy. Without “cream”, “butter” and “cheese” there is no “unwanted” male calves. No slaughtering innocent babies. And no killing “unproductive” mother cows. We don’t need the milk of another species! We can wean ourselves from cow’s milk with a huge variety of tasty and healthy plant based options.

    Dairy is also destructive to the environment and a tragic waste of resources. Perhaps it is time for “unweaned” adults to look beyond what deceptiveness and hype the dairy industry is pitching at you in order to keep their profits and their cruel practices in check.

  • Never again

    Thank you Quanah for inspiring me to go back to being a vegan. Next time I’m tempted to buy ANYTHING containing any animal product I’ll remember this video.

    And no, I’m not stupid enough to believe this is an isolated incident.

  • junior polick

    the people involved in the calvs in kersey should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. born and raised on a farm and never saw such cruelty toward a animal

  • DB

    I applaud Compassion Over Killing for this kind of important exposure. I’m getting out my wallet right now and am writing them a big fat check.

  • Dixie Darling

    so what’s the big deal? This is normal on ALL factory dairy farms and any farm that raises animals, even small family farms are cruel, you just don’t see it every day because they try to hide it. The ONLY solution is stop using any animal products of ANY kind, switch to a plant based diet and NO animals will be harmed because of YOU!

  • Pauls

    BS~~ That man is a liar, he lieing through his teeth~ That didn’t just start~ and there’s no telling how long it has been going on like that~ I think the whole operation needs to be shut down for their conduct towards them animals~ And the FDA needs to go in an make them update that facility to standards~ And as soon as the spot light gets off of them it will go right back to the same treatment to them baby calves~ They should be criminally be charged for that regardless~ That owner is just as responsible and guilty as the ones treating them calves like that~~ It’s sickening~ I can’t hardly watch that video~ That’s how disturbing it is~ :(

    • Dixie Darling

      humans have no more need for cows milk than they do for giraffe milk, gorilla milk, donkey milk or milk from any other species! You think the calves are abused you should see what the cows go through! Shut down ALL dairies, period!

  • Kat

    We should have ZERO TOLERANCE for this treatment of animals. Go over to Quanah and drag the scumbags by the ear into crates for several months then ship them off to be slaughtered. Animal abusers are worthless and do not deserve to live.

  • Lana

    Now why can’t some crazy person go on a shooting rampage at a place like this? I’d love to see these people get shot in the head. I don’t believe for one second that they didn’t know what was going on! These people and companies should be treated like these innocent calves were treated. Oh…the tortures I could come up with would be GRAND indeed!

  • Lori Hanly

    The problem I see is that humans that treat animals this way have little regard for humans either. It is common knowledge that cruelty to animals is a precursor to human abuse. God help the families of these men. Prosecution and mandatory psych evals and therapy would make the world alittle better place. And certainly send a message.

  • Darleen

    Larry Loma one of the three men in the video, was suspend with pay. The other two men were fired! Why? What’s with the specail treatment???

Comments are closed.

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