Dairy Worker Seen Striking Cow with a Wrench in ABC News Reports Suspended From Job

Runkle of Mercy for Animals claims the tape made by his organization's undercover operative shows practices that violate New York state's anticruelty statute.

"Whether it's the worker who dug his finger in the eye sockets of the cow," said Runkle, "or Phil Niles, who is seen hitting the cow with a wrench in the video, or the tail docking and [dehorning] done without anesthesia, we believe all parties responsible for abuse should be held accountable."

"Our message is clear: dairy producers are not above the law," said Runkle.

Lyndon Odell of Willet Dairy told ABC News that his operation produces high-quality milk and does not tolerate the abuse of animals. Odell said the Mercy for Animals video shows "a few isolated incidents."

Odell maintained in an interview with ABC News that his farm's practices -- including the way it dehorns and tail docks -- are in accordance with industry standards.

In response to District Attorney Budelmann's assertion that practices would have to change at Willet Dairy, Odell said if there was an opportunity to improve care of Willet's animals, he would take it.

"We are always looking for opportunities to improve our cow care," said Odell.

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