- Pennsylvania, Northumberland County, USA -
In June 2019, Pennsylvania State Police received a complaint from PETA about mistreatment, beatings, death, and filth at Reitz Dairy Farm on 133 Reitz Road in Shamokin Township.
PETA’s undercover investigation included pictures and videos.
According to PETA, calves were separated from their mothers shortly after birth and were forced to lie in their own manure and urine day after day in filthy barns.
They were denied the opportunity to go outdoors.
PETA reports that: “Among other acts of cruelty, PETA’s video footage shows a worker kicking a cow who lay trapped in a milking stall and striking her nearly 60 times with a cane on her hindquarters, legs, and sensitive udder."
Cows were not treated for obvious injuries, including massively swollen joints seeping blood and pus.
They limped through their own waste and one eventually died.
Pennsylvania State Police investigators visited the farm and questioned the owner.
The farm’s veterinarian was also interviewed.
The investigators were assisted by Dr. David R. Wolfgang, a third-party independent veterinarian who evaluated the animals on-site.
The results of the investigation were sent to the Northumberland County D.A.'s office.
Monday, March 23, Northumberland County District Attorney Tony Matulewicz announced that based on Dr. Wolfgang findings, criminal prosecution was not warranted and declined to file charges of animal cruelty against Reitz Dairy Farm.
In response to this decision, Ms. Daphna Nachminovitch, PETA Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations, issued the following statement:
"Any reasonable person recognizes that it's cruel to strike a cow nearly 60 times with a cane, deny cows care for massively swollen joints seeping blood and pus, and confine calves to barns saturated with urine and manure. If cruelty and filth are acceptable to authorities in Pennsylvania, personal responsibility is all that's left, so PETA asks everyone to remember these animals' suffering-and choose vegan milk and cheese."
Still, Dr. Wolfgang’s investigative report found places for improvement but no evidence of maltreatment or beatings.
Pictures via PETA