LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

FAIR OAKS, Ind. - Authorities released the names Tuesday, June 11, of three former employees of a large northwestern Indiana dairy farm who were charged with animal cruelty following the release of undercover video showing workers kicking and throwing calves.

The Newton County Sheriff's Office said officers were searching for the three suspects in the alleged animal abuse at Fair Oaks Farms. Video released last week by the animal rights group Animal Recovery Mission shows calves being thrown, kicked in the head, hit with steel rods and burnt with branding iron s by workers at the popular agritourism destination.

Police identified the three suspects as 31-year-old Santiago Ruvalcaba Contreros, 36-year-old Edgar Gardozo Vazquez and 38-year-old Miguel Angel Navarro Serrano.

Prosecutors had charged them on Monday, June 10, with misdemeanor beating of a vertebrate animal, and arrest warrants were issued for the men. It's unclear whether the men have attorneys who could speak on their behalf.

Investigators said other "persons of interest" were being interviewed in the case. Many of the conversations in the video released by the Miami-based Animal Recovery Mission involved people speaking Spanish.

Sheriff Thomas VanVleet said Monday in a statement that "details of the investigation cannot be released at this time as this investigation is still active."

Related: I drink fairlife and I feel good about it

Related: Three ex-workers charged with animal cruelty at Indiana dairy

Related: Fair Oaks animal abuse video: stores pull products, owner vows to make changes

Related: Undercover video reveals animal abuse at Fair Oaks Farms

The Associated Press left a message Tuesday with the sheriff's office seeking additional details on its investigation into the alleged abuse at Fair Oaks Farms' dairies about 70 miles (113 kilometers) south of Chicago. Farm officials say the farm draws about 500,000 tourists a year.

Newton County Prosecutor Jeff Drinski said Monday that Fair Oaks Farms "has cooperated completely in our attempts to identify and interview all persons involved in the videos that we have all viewed over the past week."

The AP also left a message Tuesday with Fair Oaks Farms seeking comment.

Fair Oaks Farms founder Mike McCloskey said in a statement last week that four employees seen in the video had been fired and actions have been taken to prevent further abuse. A fifth person shown in the video was a third-party truck driver who was transporting calves, he said.

SIGN UP: Get the latest agricultural and farming news in our weekly newsletter

Fair Oaks Farms is the flagship farm for Fairlife, a national brand of higher protein, higher calcium and lower fat milk. Some retailers have also pulled Fairlife products from their shelves, including Chicago-area groceries Jewel-Osco and Strack & Van Til and Family Express, which operates convenience stores across Indiana.

On Friday, June 7, Fair Oaks Farms suspended its home delivery service of milk, cheese and other products for one week, in part to protect drivers it says are facing harassment over the video.

Top Headlines from Wisconsin Farmer:

Oconto County farm auction theft: Couple to avoid jail time by paying restitution

Wisconsin agricultural exports hit hard by trade disruptions

Abrams man killed after motorcycle crash with tractor in Oconto County

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: https://www.wisfarmer.com/story/news/midwest/2019/06/11/names-released-3-charged-animal-cruelty-dairy/1426937001/