Don't Shoot the Messenger: Undercover Investigator Cited With Animal Abuse

In a classic case of attempting to “shoot the messenger,” a woman who worked for a Colorado cattle company and filmed dairy calves being dragged, kicked, thrown, and punched has been cited with animal cruelty.

Taylor Radig, a “contractor” for Compassion Over Killing secretly filmed the calf abuse at Quanah Cattle Company in Kersey, Colo., for several months this year. As a result of the video, 15 criminal charges were filed against three Quanah workers on charges of misdemeanor animal cruelty, and all three men were terminated – both great moves in the direction of showing farms that this sort of animal abuse is unacceptable.

Advertisement

Then, however, things got complicated. Radig, the woman who filmed the abuse for Compassion Over Killing, was cited with a Class 1 Misdemeanor Animal Cruelty herself by the Weld County Sherrif’s Office. The Weld County Sheriff’s Office contends that Radig “may have been criminally negligent for failing to turn over the videotapes to law enforcement in a timely manner, under Colorado Revised Statutes 18-9-201 and 18-9-202.”

According to the statement issued by the Weld County Sheriff’s Office, “Additional investigation is anticipated.”

Compassion Over Killing then issued a statement, claiming the charge is “outrageous” and is simply “political motivation fueled by an agribusiness industry that is once again lashing out in desperation to stop undercover investigators from exposing the truth.” The statement defends Radig, asserting that “[COK’s] investigator merely witnessed others committing abuse.”

Advertisement

The charge is seemingly part of the “Ag Gag” movement, a push in which agricultural companies have sought to make undercover investigations of farm animal abuse illegal.

Perhaps these companies should spend time actually monitoring their treatment of animals instead of waiting until they’re caught red-handed.

Advertisement