Rare Victory in Cattaraugus Farm Case Highlights Common Problem of Animal Cruelty on Small Farms
“What happened at Painted Meadow Farm was not just a betrayal to the animals, but to well-intended people who believed that they were supporting more healthful, local, and humane alternatives to factory-raised animal products”
WATKINS GLEN, NY – After months of worrying about the possible outcomes of the Franklinville farm cruelty case in Cattaraugus County, NY, Farm Sanctuary, America’s leading farm animal protection organization which boasts more than half a million members and supporters including Martha Stewart, Ryan Gosling, Alec Baldwin, and Ellen DeGeneres, is happy to announce that a deal was finally reached that will allow the 177 animals who have been receiving care at their shelter in Watkins Glen, NY, to continue to live out their lives in peace.
While such a resolution in a cruelty case involving farm animals is all too rare, the organization wants the public to know that severe cruelty on small farms is extremely common. Farm animals are viewed as products rather than as living, feeling beings, and are routinely subjected to treatment that would warrant felony cruelty charges if done to dogs or cats.
“Over the course of our 30-year history, some of the worst animal abuse cases we’ve encountered have been at small farms like Painted Meadow Farm that market themselves as farm-to-table operations (local farms providing ‘humane’ meat, eggs, and dairy to restaurants, bakeries, and individual buyers),” says Farm Sanctuary National Shelter Director Susie Coston. “The public needs to know that the animals we rescue from small farms are in the same, if not worse condition, as the animals we rescue from large industrial farms. They are sick, starving, lacking proper medical care, covered in parasites, and terrified of humans, who they associate with pain and suffering. What happened at Painted Meadow Farm was not just a betrayal to the animals, but to well-intended people who believed that they were supporting more healthful, local, and humane alternatives to factory-raised animal products. It’s not enough to buy local, you have to actually visit the farm to know how the animals are treated. Going by reputation or word of mouth isn’t enough, as popular magazines unknowingly praised Painted Meadow, when behind closed barn doors, hundreds of animals were suffering.”
Happily, the 177 animals in Farm Sanctuary’s care are thriving and staff have witnessed a dramatic transformation as these beautiful beings grow mentally and physically stronger. The organization will keep more than a hundred animals — mostly birds and the most vulnerable sheep, including mothers and babies — at their shelter, and will place the rest in loving homes. There are still horses is need of placement, and if anyone is interested, they should contact the Cattaraugus County SPCA.
Farm Sanctuary, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, is telling the stories of some of the animals rescued from Painted Meadow Farm on their blog, Animals of Farm Sanctuary.
Founded in 1986, Farm Sanctuary works to change how our society views and treats farm animals through rescue, education and advocacy. The organization provides lifelong care for animals rescued from abuse at sanctuary locations in New York and California; promotes compassionate vegan living; and advocates legal and policy reforms. To learn more about Farm Sanctuary, visit farmsanctuary.org.
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