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Not Fair: Undercover Investigator Charged with Animal Cruelty

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The current article you are reading does not reflect the views of the current editors and contributors of the new Ecorazzi

Undercover investigators exposing animal abuse have a very difficult job. They have to immerse themselves into some horrific conditions and bear witness to many horrible acts of cruelty toward animals. But without their bravery and dedication, the animal rights movement would not be able to progress. Considering all the important, necessary work they do, it’s mind-blowing to think that an undercover investigator who recently exposed cruelty toward calves on a dairy farm is being charged with animal cruelty.

Taylor Radig was working as an undercover investigator for non-profit animal advocacy group, Compassion Over Killing. She recorded footage of repeated acts of cruelty toward dairy cows at Quanah Cattle Company in Colorado. When her footage was released, Quanah Cattle Company and local investigators sprung into action. Three employees of the dairy farm were terminated due to their abusive actions, but then soon, Radig was slapped with animal cruelty charges, as well. Why? Because she witnessed the abuse for several months and “didn’t do anything about it.”

“The violence against calves that I documented and reported to local authorities was so egregious, three workers from the facility were charged with criminal cruelty to animals ? and now I’m being punished because I told the truth about the cruelty that took place at this facility,” writes Radig in her statement with COK. If convicted, Radig could face up to 18 months in jail.

“Undercover investigators are breaking down the dangerous wall of silence and secrecy that surrounds factory farms,” says COK’s executive director, Erica Meier. “By attempting to punish whistleblowers, the meat industry is showing us just how desperate it is to prevent Americans from seeing what our hidden cameras are capturing on film… Undercover investigations are at the heart of what we do.”

If you want to stand with Taylor Radig, consider signing this Change.org petition, asking Colorado officials to drop the animal cruelty charges against her. It’s obvious that Radig was doing the right thing and fighting for justice for these animals. Let’s stand up for her and whistleblowers everywhere.

Related on Ecorazzi:

+DiGiorno’s Cheese Supplier Exposed for Severe Animal Abuse

+Undercover Factory Farm Investigator Shares His Story

+WATCH: Meet Stella, the Sweetest Puppy Mill Survivor

Photo credit: Compassion Over Killing / Facebook.com

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  • William Shakespeare

    If she saw cruelty, she should have reported it immediately. Then the problem could have been solved sooner, rather than letting animals needlessly suffer so she could have “shocking” video to release. A day or two should have been enough. It would help if she thought about the animals and not the headlines for her organization.

    • Veganista

      Actually… It typically takes months to build a solid case that will make a difference in the industry. It’s like any other criminal investigation, it takes time. Had she reported it right away the facility likely would have received a slap on the wrist and she would NOT have been welcome back to the plant. What she did was build a solid case against them with DAMNING evidence over time, proving it was an ongoing issue as opposed to an isolated incident. Her job is to make an impact as a whistle blower in a disgusting industry, being patient while observing the horrors that she did/does is awful and I’m sure she wants to do the most good she possible can. I signed the petition. This is BS!

    • Ram J

      I disagree. To show systemic abuse you need extensive documentation over a period. You can get a number of individual employees brought to management’s attention, or possibly call the sheriff’s office — but I can’t imagine any rural county sheriff’s office taking action with just a day’s worth of film. If you want larger impact and real change, you need to collect extensive evidence, reach out to independent experts who will back your assessments up in a court of law, and do legal research–all of which require more than 24 to 48 hours.

      • Megan Hamilton

        You are exactly right. It’s astounding the level of ignorance here as to what it takes to build an EFFECTIVE prosecutable case. These brave people have literally one chance to make a difference and gather evidence and they have to make it count. A single day of documentation, especially when it comes to farm animals, will result in nothing happening or a slap on the wrist. Then the abuse continues, but they just hide it better.

    • Zaahira

      This person put it well:

      “No [Animal Rights Activist], you were arrested for being a PART of the abuse by standing by and allowing it for the sole purpose of making a video to use to solicit donations for your “animal abuse” organization as well as making headlines as a publicity stunt for profit.
      The truly sad part is that she doesn’t get it.

      It does not ‘blow my mind’ to hear that a criminal get arrested. I am not appalled when a [ARA] is held to the same standards and laws normal, decent , law abiding people are. Your zealot crusade doesn’t make you special nor does it allow you to vandalize, trespass, harass, steal, lie, cheat, defraud and act like an ass with immunity because ‘it’s for the animals.’ I hope she gets a long jail sentence, a huge fine and years of community service where she has to do something to HELP the world instead of HURT it.” ~Anonymous

      • ARman Strong

        @Zaahira ANOTHER ONE … either —>completely ignorant<— or a paid meat industry TROLL.

    • ARman Strong

      @disqus_7AdqI9MpuQ:disqus = Either —>completely ignorant<— or a paid meat industry TROLL.

    • Trisha Jordan

      I agree she should have told like any caring new employee would right away and stand the chance they might see her as different and get suspicious about her,,, but if that happened and they conjured up a reason to let her go ,,,her advocacy group should of been ready with another under cover person to apply for a job there possibly after she told just to play it safe if they did let her go. (I think if she reported it to her manger at the farm and no action was taken to reprimand the persons abusing the animals I would think it would only have built an even STRONGER CASE) I understand it takes months to get all the facts and displays of abuse,,,but I myself would have a serious problem containing myself to bearing witness to this and not doing more than just tell management about it!!! Of course that’s me and my advocacy group would or should know in advance how deep my feelings run for animals who have no voice! I don’t know that she should be charged since without her we would of had nothing. (Again her group should of advised her correctly how to handle the situation at hand and if they told her stay and do nothing they should be the one’s to supply an attorney to represent her as she (probably was given advice from her superiors at the time shortly after she witnessed this disturbing cruelty) If she can justify why she didn’t tell as I mentioned above that she was afraid they would lose more valuable footage ,,,then she should have to prove her group had no one else at the time to send in there to make application . Otherwise I question her motives for doing this ,,, I hope what I say is unbiased and as fair of a remedy as possible ?

  • chaos

    Taylor RadigYou got exactly what You deserved and the charges against You should stick!

    • ARman Strong

      @chaos ANOTHER ONE … either —>completely ignorant<— or a paid meat industry TROLL.

  • ziggypop

    Wow. The ignorance of how the real legal world works, is astonishing in some of the comments.

    • Deli

      The concern should have been for the animals and not getting legal documentationfor the legal system. Seems like the intent here was not to stop the cruelity but to sue someone. So much for caring about the animals

      • ARman Strong

        @Deli -and- ANOTHER ONE … either —>completely ignorant<— or a paid meat industry TROLL.

  • Megan Hamilton

    Shouldn’t they then be prosecuting ALL employees at this facility who certainly also witnessed these acts and did nothing, and management, who are responsible for overseeing employees and making sure their animals are not subjected to cruelty??

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