INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The group that unveiled alleged animal abuse at Fair Oaks Farm last week came forward Wednesday with a new video and a new statement.
The videos show the operations inside the northeast Indiana dairy farm in Newton County.
The newest video’s release came just before authorities announced the arrest of one of the three men charged following the release of the first video.
Edgar Gardozo-Vasquez, 36, of Brook, was being held Wednesday in the Newton County jail. He was wanted on a warrant for a misdemeanor count of animal cruelty and a felony count of torturing or mutilating an animal. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement also has placed a hold on him.
The sheriff’s office said Wednesday afternoon that warrants remained outstanding for two other men being sought, Santiago Ruvalcaba Contreros, 31, and Miguel Angel Navarro Serrano, 38. The Newton County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday it did not have any additional comments on its investigation.
When the first video came out, people were up upset at the graphic images they saw of several men hurting cows in so many ways. When people heard more video was being released Tuesday, they were livid.
“Fair Oaks is not the problem,” protester Michelle Schaefer said. “Dairy is the problem. The meat and dairy industry is really the problem.”
Animal Recovery Mission, the group that used an undercover dairy employee to create the video, agrees. They said they stayed undercover for multiple months to show that the horrible acts being performed were not just a one-and-done thing. They said the abuse is happening more than you would think.
“You can go into a factory farm undercover and just work one shift, work eight hours, and you can witness all of the abuse that we collected over a three-month period,” said AJ Garcia, the Animal Recovery Mission investigation director.
So, why did Animal Recovery Mission need more than just a day to collect footage and why did it go unreported for months until a video was ready for release?
“If they go in there and see one cow being abused and they said ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa! We have to go report this,’ that person would be fired that day,” said Joel Kerr, Indiana Animal Rights Alliance director.
Animal Recovery Mission said it’s also for the safety of the investigator.
Asked why Animal Recovery Mission did not just pull its investigator when it had the evidence and tell the police to stop the abuse before more happens, they said that action would make the group’s job harder.
“If we want to continue investigating other dairies, right? Let’s just say, not related to Fair Oaks Farms, just other dairies, it becomes more difficult for us once that information is out there,” Garcia said.
The group said there’s still more info that will come out, but until then police, the U.S. Department of Agriculture or any other organization won’t get any of their information until they decide to give it to them.
“Law enforcement, they just file charges,” Garcia said. “They don’t do the investigation. Right? So, we’re taking it upon ourselves. We are taking it upon ourselves to investigate these farms and to show the public how their food is produced. Law enforcement is not in charge of that.”
Outside of the first arrest in the case, the Newton County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday it does not have any new comments on the investigation.