Ex-Idaho Dairy Worker Sentenced For Animal Cruelty

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An Idaho dairy worker, convicted of animal cruelty after hidden video captured workers at a Magic Valley dairy slapping, hitting and stomping on animals, has been sentenced to a year of supervised probation.

Jesus Garza, 25, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor animal cruelty in 5th District Court, where he was sentenced by Magistrate Judge Calvin Campbell, who on Feb. 25 also ordered Garza not to work with livestock until further orders from the court.

Video footage was collected at an investigation of Bettencourt Dry Creek Dairy in Hansen, produced undercover when a member of Los Angeles, Calif.-based Mercy for Animals gained employment at the dairy.

After the story broke in October 2012, Bettencourt owner Luis Bettencourt said he reacted by firing all employees seen in the video immediately after receiving an official complaint from the Idaho State Department of Agriculture.

"We fired all five employees, we put video cameras in the barns to monitor activity 24 hours a day, and hired an extra supervisor. We showed the video to all the other help who work in the facilities. We're taking the steps necessary to make sure it doesn't happen again."

[ Video is no longer available. ]