Ex-Indiana farm worker gets year of probation for abusing calves at Fair Oaks Farms

NEWTON COUNTY, Ind. — A man accused of abusing calves on a large northwest Indiana farm has been sentenced to a year of probation after a felony charge was dropped.

Officials said in June that 36-year-old Edgar Gardozo-Vasquez is one of three former employees of popular agritourism destination Fair Oaks Farms charged with a misdemeanor for animal cruelty following the release of undercover video showing workers kicking and throwing young calves.

Gardozo-Vasquez pleaded guilty Monday before being sentenced.

He had also been charged with, a felony count of torturing or mutilating a vertebrate animal. Journal and Courier reports the prosecutor dropped that charge.

The Animal Recovery Mission group (ARM) released video showing the mistreatment of cows at Fair Oaks and other farms affiliated with the Fairlife Corporation.

The group” said its investigators, who were hired to be milkers, witnessed abuse of animals immediately.

Visitors to Fair Oaks are given tours of the rotary carousel milking machine, which is touted as humane, but the undercover investigators said the reality in barns not open to the public is just the opposite.

“Mothers were not loading, did not want to load, into the milking stalls of the rotary system. They were being beaten, they were being kicked, they were being smacked, they were being punched. We took a tour mere days ago undercover, and once again, they are still lying to the public not knowing that we have footage of the carousel milking system,” said Richard Couto with ARM.

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