The Latest: 1 arrested on abuse charges at Indiana farm

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FAIR OAKS, Ind. (AP) — The Latest on alleged animal abuse at an Indiana dairy farm that's a popular agritourism destination (all times local):

5:30 p.m.

Authorities have arrested one of three people charged with animal cruelty following the release of video showing workers kicking and throwing young calves at a northwestern Indiana dairy farm that is an agritourism destination.

The Newton County Sheriff's Department said Wednesday 36-year-old Edgar Gardozo-Vasquez of Brook was taken into custody and is being held at the Newton County Jail on a felony charge of torturing or mutilating a vertebrate animal and misdemeanor animal cruelty at Fair Oaks Farms.

The department says U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement has placed a hold on Gardozo-Vasquez. It says there's outstanding warrants for two other former Fair Oaks workers

It's not clear whether Gardozo-Vasquez has an attorney who might comment on his behalf.

The animal rights group Animal Recovery Mission released video last week showing calves being thrown and kicked in the head by farm employees and the carcasses of dead calves piled together.


5:10 p.m.

A California man is suing the Fairlife brand of milk products, accusing it of fraud following the release of undercover videos depicting animal abuse at an Indiana dairy farm that's one of its main suppliers.

The (Northwest Indiana) Times reports the federal lawsuit filed by Alain Michael of Thousand Oaks, California, alleges that he purchased Fairlife milk solely because of its guarantee that it provided "extraordinary animal care."

His suit says the Chicago-based company's "'promise' is a sham" in light of animal mistreatment seen in videos released by the animal rights group Animal Recovery Mission.

Fairlife says it's reviewing the lawsuit, which seeks class-action status and seeks unspecified damages.

The videos were filmed in Indiana at Fair Oaks Farms. Farm owners Mike and Sue McCloskey are also named as defendants. A message seeking comment was left for the couple.


1:35 p.m.

An animal rights group has released new undercover video showing workers at an Indiana dairy farm abusing adult cows while loading them into a milking carousel that visitors can tour at the popular agritourism destination.

The video released Wednesday by Animal Recovery Mission comes a week after the Miami-based group released video showing workers kicking and throwing calves at Fair Oaks Farms.

That and other video led to animal cruelty charges against three former employees.

The new video shows employees punching adult cows, striking them with poles and apparently breaking the tails of some uncooperative cows. During a farm tour including in the footage, a guide tells visitors that cows like the carousel, saying it's "a joy ride for them."

Fair Oaks didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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