Employees at a Colorado cattle ranch are facing animal cruelty charges after being caught on video mishandling newborn calves — but so is the woman who brought their activities to the attention of authorities.
The Associated Press reported on Monday that the sheriff’s office in Weld County charged Taylor Radig along with employees at the Quanah Cattle Company for not sharing her information until two months after ending her stint there as a temporary employee.
Sheriff John B. Cooke said in a statement that “Radig’s failure to report the alleged abuse of the animals in a timely manner adheres to the definition of acting with negligence and substantiates the charge,” and that she is believed to have taken part in the activities she filmed.
According to KMGH-TV, Radig identified herself as a “contractor” for Compassion Over Killing, an animal rights group. She worked at Quanah from mid-July 2013 through the end of September, then handed over footage of employees dragging the male calves, pushing them around and other forms of abuse.
Quanah employees Tomas Cerda, Larry Loma and Ernesto Daniel Valenzuela-Alvarez are each facing one misdemeanor charge of animal abuse, which carries penalties of a fine ranging between $500 and $5,000, as well as a possible jail sentence of six to 18 months. The company announced it had fired the three men in the wake of Radig’s revelation.
Compassion Over Killing executive director Erica Meier criticized the charges against Radig, saying, “This shoot-the-messenger strategy is aimed at detracting attention away from the crimes of those who actually abused animals.”
Watch some of Radig’s footage depicting the conditions at Quanah, as posted by Compassion Over Killing earlier this month, below.
[h/t Green Is The New Red]