3 charged in animal cruelty case at Fair Oaks dairy farms, police say

FAIR OAKS, Ind. (WLS) -- Charges have been filed against three individuals in an alleged animal cruelty case at an Indiana dairy farm according to police.

Santiago Ruvalcaba Contreros, 31, Edgar Gardozo Vazquez, 36, and Miguel Angel Navarro Serrano, 38, have each been charged with a misdemeanor in connection to the animal cruelty case - specifically for beating a vertebrate animal, according to the Newton County Sheriff's Office.

As of Tuesday morning, officials said they were still trying to locate the suspects.

Last week, the animal rights group, the Animal Recovery Mission released several videos of what they said is an independent investigation depicting "disturbing evidence of ongoing animal cruelty" at Fair Oaks Farms.

RELATED: Fair Oaks Dairy Farm animal abuse allegations, video prompt Jewel Osco to pull Fairlife products

The original video released on social media shows calves being stabbed and beaten with steel rebars, hit in the mouth and face with hot branding irons, subjected to extreme temperatures and denied medical attention.

RAW: Animal rights group releases video showing alleged abuse at Fair Oak Dairy Farm
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The Animal Recovery Mission released undercover videos that allege to show animal abuse at Fair Oaks Dairy Farm in Indiana.

The animal rights group claimed Fair Oaks Dairy Farm in Fair Oaks, Indiana, is mistreating its cows. Fair Oaks Farms produces dairy products under the Fairlife brand label.

Police said details of their investigation will not be released at this time, as it is still an ongoing case. They said the names of those facing charges will be released within the next day.

Indiana State Police, the Indiana State Board of Animal Health and the Newton County Prosecutor's Office are all assisting in the investigation.

Fair Oaks Farms founder Mike McCloskey released a statement on the farm's website saying he was unaware of any animal abuse taking place on the farm. In the statement, McCloskey said after reviewing the video he was able to identify five people committing "multiple instances of animal cruelty and despicable judgement." Four were farm employees, while one was a third-party truck driver, McCloskey said.
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Jewel Osco has announced they are pulling Fairlife products from their shelves following claims of animal abuse at the Fair Oaks Dairy Farm in Indiana. Police say they have launche

The farm owner said he will install cameras everywhere on the farm, as well as hire someone trained in animal welfare to work the grounds every day. He also said an animal welfare specialist will make unannounced visits to check the condition of the animals at least once a month.

Jewel Osco announced Wednesday they are pulling Fairlife products from their shelves in wake of the video. At least two grocery chains in northwest Indiana have also taken Fairlife products off their shelves. Late Wednesday afternoon, Coca Cola, which distributes Fairlife products, said it recognizes the seriousness of the situation and have full confidence that Fair Oaks Farms will address the issue.

Questions regarding acceptable farm practices should be directed to the Indiana State Board of Animal Health as they are the governing body. They can be contacted by e-mail animalhealth@boah.in.gov.
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