Fury at animal cruelty on organic farm as footage shows herdsman kicking cows in the face [Video]

, Fury at animal cruelty on organic farm as footage shows herdsman kicking cows in the face [Video], The Today News USA

An organic farm that supplies award-winning cheeses to upmarket retailers and farmers markets has sacked a worker over cruelty revelations.

The Bath Soft Cheese Co, which makes a number of ‘supreme champion’ cheeses, claims to put the welfare of its cows at the heart of its operation.

Its website even carries the mantra ‘Look after your cows and your cows will look after you’.

However, campaigners from Animal Justice Project, say the evidence of seven months of secret filming on the company’s dairy farm reveals alarming cruelty.

, Fury at animal cruelty on organic farm as footage shows herdsman kicking cows in the face [Video], The Today News USA

, Fury at animal cruelty on organic farm as footage shows herdsman kicking cows in the face [Video], The Today News USA

Animal Justice Project founder, Claire Palmer, said: ‘Footage captured on this multi award-winning organic dairy is in stark contrast to the image portrayed by the farm’

, Fury at animal cruelty on organic farm as footage shows herdsman kicking cows in the face [Video], The Today News USA

, Fury at animal cruelty on organic farm as footage shows herdsman kicking cows in the face [Video], The Today News USA

She added: ‘Callous kicking, slapping, punching, yelling and swearing at cows; the desperation and anguish of calves who cried for days after being separated from their mothers; and the pitiful individual housing afforded to youngsters for up to a month post-separation preventing play and other normal, social behaviours’

, Fury at animal cruelty on organic farm as footage shows herdsman kicking cows in the face [Video], The Today News USA

, Fury at animal cruelty on organic farm as footage shows herdsman kicking cows in the face [Video], The Today News USA

There is video evidence of at least one cow showing severe lameness, while calves only a few days old were held in narrow pens with very little room and no contact with others

A member of staff was seen slapping, punching, and kicking cows in the face; as well as hitting them with plastic pipes around their hindquarters, legs and udders.

Footage of the separation of cows from their calves showed them bellowing in distress for many hours.

There is video evidence of at least one cow showing severe lameness, while calves only a few days old were held in narrow pens with very little room and no contact with others.

, Fury at animal cruelty on organic farm as footage shows herdsman kicking cows in the face [Video], The Today News USA

, Fury at animal cruelty on organic farm as footage shows herdsman kicking cows in the face [Video], The Today News USA

The Bath Soft Cheese Co, which makes a number of ‘supreme champion’ cheeses, claims to put the welfare of its cows at the heart of its operation

, Fury at animal cruelty on organic farm as footage shows herdsman kicking cows in the face [Video], The Today News USA

, Fury at animal cruelty on organic farm as footage shows herdsman kicking cows in the face [Video], The Today News USA

Marc Bekoff, professor emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, said: ‘It is never acceptable to hit and kick farmed animals, particularly when they have nowhere to go, as viewed in this footage’

Images showed the calves being manhandled during so-called debudding, which involves removing their horns.

And bull calves were sent for slaughter soon after birth, rather than being reared on for beef, which is considered the most ethical approach.

Bath Soft Cheese, based around a dairy farm in Kelston, supplies organic retailers such as Able & Cole, Planet Organic and farmers markets. 

Its award-winning cheeses include Wyfe of Bath, Merry Wyfe, and Bath Blue, some of which have won awards.

, Fury at animal cruelty on organic farm as footage shows herdsman kicking cows in the face [Video], The Today News USA

, Fury at animal cruelty on organic farm as footage shows herdsman kicking cows in the face [Video], The Today News USA

Hugh Padfield, whose family has been running the 240-acre Park Farm since 1914, said: ‘We are horrified by the scenes of a herdsman hitting cows. It is totally unacceptable. The member of staff involved was recently hired, we have taken disciplinary action and he will be leaving the farm’

However, the owners of the business say they are ‘horrified’ by video evidence of the behaviour of one herdsman, who has been sacked, however they reject the other allegations.

, Fury at animal cruelty on organic farm as footage shows herdsman kicking cows in the face [Video], The Today News USA

The Animal Justice Project showed the footage to veterinary and welfare experts, including Professor emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Marc Bekoff. 

He said: ‘It is never acceptable to hit and kick farmed animals, particularly when they have nowhere to go, as viewed in this footage.

‘Cows can discriminate between people who handle them roughly and who are gentle with them.’

Veterinarian, Dr Molly Vasanthakumar, said the footage of lame cows was ‘most likely exacerbated by the long waiting times in the slurry-filled concrete collecting yards and passages prior to milking’.

She added: ‘On this particular farm, calves are kept in individual small pens, with no contact to other animals other than through the bars. It is impossible to see how young, inquisitive animals are expected to display natural behaviours in those conditions.’

, Fury at animal cruelty on organic farm as footage shows herdsman kicking cows in the face [Video], The Today News USA

, Fury at animal cruelty on organic farm as footage shows herdsman kicking cows in the face [Video], The Today News USA

Images showed the calves being manhandled during so-called debudding, which involves removing their horns with a hot iron 

Animal Justice Project founder, Claire Palmer, said: ‘Footage captured on this multi award-winning organic dairy is in stark contrast to the image portrayed by the farm.

‘Callous kicking, slapping, punching, yelling and swearing at cows; the desperation and anguish of calves who cried for days after being separated from their mothers; and the pitiful individual housing afforded to youngsters for up to a month post-separation preventing play and other normal, social behaviours.’

Hugh Padfield, whose family has been running the 240-acre Park Farm since 1914, said: ‘We are horrified by the scenes of a herdsman hitting cows. It is totally unacceptable. The member of staff involved was recently hired, we have taken disciplinary action and he will be leaving the farm.

‘Our ethos is to be open, friendly, accessible and honest in everything we do, which is why the farm has public viewing areas.

‘Our aim is to maintain the highest standards of welfare on our farm and we expect our staff to adhere to these standards at all times.’

Mr Padfield, said the video footage gave a misleading view of its activities.

, Fury at animal cruelty on organic farm as footage shows herdsman kicking cows in the face [Video], The Today News USA

, Fury at animal cruelty on organic farm as footage shows herdsman kicking cows in the face [Video], The Today News USA

A member of staff was seen slapping, punching, and kicking cows in the face; as well as hitting them with plastic pipes around their hindquarters, legs and udders

‘The newly separated calves are kept in individual pens to make sure that they are drinking their full allocation of milk each day. When we are confident that they are strong then they are moved into larger pens with other calves of a similar age,’ he said.

‘We keep lame cows separately in the central loose-bedded area, which one of the cameras filmed. This area is overlooked by a viewing area. The cows have to be walked out of this area to be examined by the vet who visits regularly.

‘Dehorning is carried out to stop cows injuring each other. Whenever we do this it is carried out under local anaesthetic and under veterinary guidance.’

He said the reason bull calves have been sent for slaughter, rather than reared for beef, is because of an outbreak of bovine TB. This explanation was rejected by the welfare group.

Mr Padfield added: ‘We are concerned that this footage, which is highly edited to mislead, selectively chosen and portrayed with no context, does not represent what happens on our farm on a daily basis, where animal welfare is at the heart of all we do.’