Local Facility Now Under State Police Investigation Following PETA Exposé
For Immediate Release:
June 28, 2019
Moira Colley 202-483-7382
Harrisburg, Pa. – Today, PETA unveiled a new eyewitness exposé of Reitz Dairy Farm, a Northumberland County operation that milks roughly 300 cows for the Iowa-based National Farmers Organization, which indicates its customers include Hagerstown, Maryland–based Lanco-Pennland, maker of Pennland Pure cheese. Among other acts of cruelty, PETA’s video footage shows a worker kicking a cow who lay trapped in a milking stall and striking her nearly 60 times with a cane on her hindquarters, legs, and sensitive udder.
PETA has submitted its findings to the Pennsylvania State Police, which has opened an investigation into the farm, whose manager denied cows care for obvious injuries, including massively swollen joints seeping blood and pus. Cows limped through their own waste—one later died in it—and calves were separated from their mothers and kept in a barn amid urine and manure, with no access to the outdoors, before the females were later inseminated and used for milk production. Police visited the farm on Tuesday night and ordered the owner to work with a veterinarian to provide the injured animals there with care.
“Every piece of dairy cheese represents a lifetime of misery for cows at a squalid facility such as Reitz Dairy Farm,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA wants the National Farmers Organization to reconsider its relationship with this farm—and urges consumers to choose vegan milks and cheeses that no cows had to suffer for.”
PETA’s investigation was prompted by a whistleblower complaint earlier this year—the fourth such call that PETA has received from a Reitz Dairy Farm worker since 2014. In 2016, a whistleblower reported that farm owner Lloyd Reitz Sr. and his son Andy Reitz forced cows to lie in their own waste, let udder infections go untreated, slit the throats of conscious cows, and more. PETA’s 2009 investigation into the farm found that cows were kicked, electroshocked, and jabbed with a blade. They were also left to suffer from untreated conditions and, again, forced to live amid their own excrement.
Broadcast-quality video footage is available here, and photos are available here. PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat or abuse in any other way”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.