FAIR OAKS, Ind. – Detectives are investigating claims that the Animal Recovery Mission employee that captured animal abuse at Fair Oaks Farms encouraged or coerced the behavior depicted in the portions of video that have been released to the public.
The Newton County Prosecutor’s Office says a third party witness has come forward to corroborate the allegations, which were made by one of the suspects in the case.
Prosecutors say detectives are continuing to investigate the claims through additional interviews and written discovery.
The investigation stems from a disturbing video released by ARM, a nonprofit. The footage shows employees abusing calves and using drugs at the Indiana dairy farm.
Three people are facing a charge of beating a vertebrate animal as a result of the activity seen in the video. As of Tuesday, only one of the suspects, 36-year-old Edgar Gardozo-Vasquez, has been arrested.
ARM issued this statement, denying the allegations made against them:
“The statement sent out by the Newton County’s Prosecutors Office that an ARM Investigator coerced or encouraged the abuse of innocent animals at Fair Oaks Farms, couldn’t be further from the truth. The Newton County Sheriff’s and Prosecutors Office has yet to reach out to Animal Recovery Mission’s main witness in this case for any additional statement. For prosecutors to release such an unfounded and bogus information that is part of an open and ongoing criminal case, is not only unprofessional, but irresponsible, as it could have a negative effect on this very important criminal case. It is apparent that this prosecutor is attempting to divert public attention away from Fair Oaks Farms and Mike McCloskey in order to create doubt on a professionally put together investigation into Newton County. Once again, the Animal Recovery Mission is reaching out to both the Sheriff’s and Prosecutors Office to give our first formal statements.”
Fair Oaks issued this statement:
Law enforcement’s investigation will follow its own course. We continue to focus and make every effort to ensure the safety and welfare of our animals so this never happens again. For further information on the progress of our commitments, visit https://fofarms.com/.