3 workers in alleged animal abuse video fired, cited by Weld deputies

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GREELEY, Colo. -- Sheriff's deputies in Weld County have cited three people after an animal rights group recorded video of workers at a cattle farm allegedly abusing adolescent cows.

The video by Compassion Over Killing was released to the public on Tuesday. The video claims to show workers at the Quanah Cattle Company dragging calves by the ears, legs and tails -- treatment that is prohibited by the USDA.

The Weld County Sheriff's Office was also given a copy of the video and began investigating immediately, a spokesman said. While the investigation is still ongoing, three people have been cited for misdemeanor animal abuse charge for their involvement in the abuse, deputies said.

The three have been identified as Ernesto Alvarez, Tomas Cerda and Larry Loma.

The Quanah Cattle Company sent FOX31 Denver a statement saying the three workers seen in the video were fired.

"We do not not tolerate animal abuse," the statement said. "Since we learned about the incident we have taken immediate corrective action and terminated the three individuals seen in the video. We are now focused on re-training our employees and taking care of our animals."

Deputies said all three suspects in the case were believed to have been hired through a temporary agency.

Quanah Cattle Co. investigation. Image from Compassion Over Killing video

Quanah Cattle Co. investigation. Image from Compassion Over Killing video

Video called 'heartbreaking' and 'illegal'

Compassion Over Killing described the treatment of the calves as "heartbreaking" and "illegal."

A member of the group went undercover and recorded the video. The Quanah Cattle Company is a calf-raising facility owned by J.D. Heiskell & Co., a large commodity trading and livestock feed manufacturing company.

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.

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

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, said he never saw that kind of treatment. But after seeing the undercover video he said he took immediate action.

“Absolutely I was unaware. That’s not how we want to do business,” Hodgen said.

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

Quanah has just a handful of employees and Hodgen said 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.



  • Beer_Abs

    Presidents, Democrats, all Management and supervisory personnel all seem to have “Stupid” as an excuse once they get caught. Accountability should be the norm for bad activities and bad practices and punishments should be harsh to set a line in the sand that we will not tolerate “always being out of the loop”!

  • kathryn

    enjoy your veal “rich folks’… your McDonalds, Burger King, etc. & may God have mercy on your pathetic souls.

  • JG

    It’s not just eating veal that creates this suffering. If you drink milk, eat cheese, yogurt or any dairy products you also contribute to this horror. These animals are taken from their mothers, tortured and killed so we can steal the milk. Cows milk is designed to make a baby cow grow. There is no reason humans need to drink cows milk any more than we need to drink zebra milk or hippo milk. We have been trained to do this by social “norms”. Please opt for plant-based milks and “cheeses” and stop this tragedy.

  • Desiree Manzanares

    As if anyone is to believe the management had no clue? What types of owners making there money off these Innocent Animals are not aware of the treatment? Selfish Evil acts! Just horrible to find these men are not in prison Only cited ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

  • T

    Bring on the main course! M M MMMMMMMMMMMM!

    I wish we could lock up the liberals and treat them like this!

    It’s nice to be at the top of the food chain!

  • Manuel Rodriguez

    A bunch of dumb cry babies if you ask me complaining about how we get our meat grabbing them by their their ears and tails come on its not like they were hosting cock fights these guys are innocent men being set up by whiny cry baby people that honestly will never make an honest change people will NEVER stop eating cows killing cows drinking their milk eating cheese. Quit acting so brand new and ruining innocent mens lives. and all racists talking smack I dont see any white boys stepping up to humanley lead these calves to slaughter only racist jerks judging as they chew their steaks

  • bee

    Manuel Rodriguez you disgust me and probably others too..that just shows that you don’t care that 3 men are abusing and torturing these baby cows even though they are already going to be slaughter..and even though people will not stop eating cows or killing cows that doesn’t give them the right to abused and tortured the baby cows. That just shows what kind of a person you are and your a sick person that thinks these 3 men did nothing wrong.

    • Manuel Rodriguez

      Whats disgusting is the fact that you think pulling cows ears or tails while leading them to be killed is torture? You probably were never spanked as a kid were you bee? sissy people like yourself are a big part of whats wrong with people these days. I could see if the guys were mutilating, cutting the calves or some crazy stuff like that, that would be messed up. But thats not the case. The calves that were found dead died from natural causes dont believe everything you read rather wait til the investigation is complete before labeling these men as monsters for just doing there job. That could be you, your kids or your friend. How would you do your job differently if it was you?

  • Angus

    There is no reason that these animals can’t be treated with respect and kindness! Death row inmates are treated better than these animals and I would guarantee that these animals have more feelings/emotions than the majority of the death row inmates.

  • Peg Farrar

    If people would stop drinking the milk of these babies’ mothers, these monsters would not have the jobs they have!! We, the consumers who demand dairy products, are the REAL criminals here!! This expose is just ONE dairy operation in this country. THIS IS STANDARD PROCEDURE in the dairy industry. DON’T believe the lies of the dairy executives that this is not happening. IT IS RAMPANT in this business. The animals’ welfare is not the concern–the bottom line (high volume production) is the main focus. WAKE UP, PEOPLE! DON’T BELIEVE THe LIES!! There are so many alternatives to dairy in this day and they are HEALTHY and DELICIOUS!!

  • Alecia Cole

    Manuel Rodriguz, you are a soulless, heartless creature that does not even deserve to breathe the oxygen or share space on this planet! It’s disgusting non-humans like you that make the world a cruel and inhumane environment for the beings that share it with humans!! YOU, sir, ARE NOT HUMAN!!

    • Manuel Rodriguez

      Alecia that is the funniest thing ive heard all week :) im going to drink a nice big glass of milk put an extra slice of cheese on my double bacon burger and make a toast to that. I bet yous who are making these comments are god fearing church going folk right? Do you think the animals and cattle sacrificed in the bible were not tugged by their ears or tails when being led to being slaughtered. Cry me a river that hilarious that you believe im souless because I think they did nothing other than their jobs. Quit crying

  • puppyluvver24

    T – YOU, sir, are NOT human either. You and Manuel Rodriguez should be treated EXACTLY as these poor sentient creatures are treated! Someone should carve you up and eat your flesh.

  • Dana

    Simply pathetic…. Cows are sensitive creatures that feel pain and fear just like humans do… It’s hard to be aware we live among people that care only about themselves …. with no respect, care or compassion for what other creatures feel. One has to wonder how this man treats other humans… his family… with such a cold heart… SCARY!!! Eat your meat….. But atleast show respect for the poor creature before they are put to death.

  • cynthialott

    The human heart does not lose anything by loving and respecting Other living things in this world. If you cannot respect and treat humanely a BABY animal, then you surely will not respect me or another human being. Jesus, think outside of the Human box and realize that life has more to do than just US. Imagine if the moment your baby is born, it’s taken from you so someone else can have the mother’s breast milk, the baby is thrown around, tortured and then slaughtered. For what? For a veal plate or a glass of milk? This has to stop. We don’t NEED These things in our lives. These people deserved to be fired and I frankly don’t ever want them near me. If they can do this to a defenseless animal BABY, then God only knows what else they are capable of. Shameful.

  • Dana

    I am certainly happy they were fired, but seems consequences for this should be much more severe… Felony with jail time!! Wonder if that is being pushed with the weld county DA Ken Buck. Might be good for all those concerned to be contacting him!!

  • elen

    Larry was the manager he was supposed to be very experienced with cattle not calves. He should have never been put in charge of calves they are the same animal but nothing alike they need different care. The other 2 employees are his family. Brother inlaw and cousin. They all had proper training by larry but monkey see monkey do.

  • Darleen

    I know for a fact that Larry Loma one of the men in the video is suspend with pay! The other two men were fired. Why???

  • A

    Manuel, you are slightly cruel about your presentation of your argument and your disregard for the calves’ well being, but I have to agree that these men were probably just doing their jobs. They move these cattle every single day. Do you think that they just try to coax them out after probably years of doing this job? I’m sure they are on a strict time schedule just like any paying job and they know what it takes to get it done the way thier supervisors would ahve it done. They are not doing this to the calves for their amusement, they are doing it to get paid and keep a job. Another thing a lot of you people should take into consideration is the market. There wouldn’t be any cattle if there wasn’t a market and the early bird gets the worm when you compete in a market-Economics 101. Another point about alternatives is that there is a market for alternatives but it only goes so far. Few people choose the alternative so with a small amount of buyers, ‘organic’ foods don’t get as much consumer input therefor the market has low output in turn meaning less competitors because of the lack of business. Another thing to take into consideration is the shortage of food and rising prices. Do you think that if you put these people out of business due to their cruelty that there would be enough food for everyone? The more people that fill this Earth, the more mouths there are to feed. At some point, you have to understand that it becomes a factor of survival. I’m not saying it has yet come to that point, but it is going to come to that point, and what would you have humanity do then? Let people die of starvation because we must be kind? And, don’t tell me to be a vegitarian, I’ve seen vegitarian,s and they take loads of vitamins to supplement their lack of eating meat. My own Mother tried it for a long time. But, my main point here is that these people, the workers and corporations included, are not doing these things because they like being cruel to animals; they are doing it to supply themselves with a profitand, for consumer benefit, supply the market with the product in order to meet the demand. I wouldn’t like being cruel to an animal, but do you think a lion considers the baby Zebras physical and emotional feelings before the pounces on it’s back and rips holes in it’s neck while also breaking it to feed himself?

  • Provoked

    This certainly isn’t an “isolated” incident. How does anyone think “food animals” are treated at the slaughterhouse? Does anyone believe they are given sweet caress before their throats are slit? Please wake up that the whole industry feeds upon the extremely horrific and cruel treatment to innocent life!

    The solution is a vegan diet – Even if you do not eat flesh, consuming dairy and eggs contributes to these brutal, violent systems. Without “cheese”, “cream” and “butter” there is NO VEAL.

    There are abundant plant based options that are delicious and nutritionally better without this vicious cruelty. No innocent life should have to suffer for our frivolous gluttony. Please – please – Go Vegan. It’s the right thing to do!

  • elen

    Darleen- larry is the only employee, employeed by jd haskel where as the other 2 were hired through employeement solutions.

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