Target: Luis Bettencourt
Goal: Commend the owner of Bettencourt Dairies for promptly firing employees charged with animal cruelty and taking definitive steps to ensure it never happens again
Luis Bettencourt is the owner of the largest dairy operation in Idaho, employing 500 workers in 13 different facilities handling up to 60,000 cows. He has been in the dairy business since he was a child, and was shocked upon seeing the footage shown to him in August of several of his employees “beating cows with a pink cane as the animals slipped and slid on the wet concrete floor; workers kicking, shoving and stomping cows that ha[d] fallen between the metal bars in the milking stalls; and a cow being dragged out of the barn by a chain around her neck as she l[ay] prone on the concrete floor.”
Bettencourt fired all five employees from the video the next day, including the three that were charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty. He says he has also installed video cameras in each of his facilities and hired an extra supervisor, in addition to showing the video to all 500 employees and requiring them to sign an agreement pledging their firm understanding of a zero tolerance policy for animal abuse. “We’ve been in business 30 years and we’ve never had this happen before. We’re all devastated here.”
If convicted of the charges, the three ex-employees face up to $5,000 in fines (each) and 6 months of jail time. Until then, they will be nowhere near animals thanks to the whistleblower and swift action of the owner. Thank Mr. Bettencourt for his rare commitment to animal welfare by signing the petition today.
Dear Luis Bettencourt,
We were just as devastated as you were to learn of the many cruelties several of your past employees committed against the cows on your farm. But it is also reassuring to know that upon finding out about it, you took the swift steps necessary to reinforce company policies strictly forbidding any type of animal cruelty and also to educate employees on what that looks like. By installing video cameras throughout your facilities and hiring extra help to monitor conduct with the cows, it is less likely that something as horrific as this incident will happen in the future and we commend you for fighting animal abuse with such preventative measures.
Thank you for sending a clear message to all dairy farms to keep a closer eye on the treatment of our milk cows, that abuse will not be tolerated, and for holding workers individually accountable for their actions on or off-camera.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Ian McDonald