Sunday, May 11, 2014

Times-News: Bettencourt Sells Infamous Idaho Dairy Where Animal Cruelty Was Documented

Posted By on Sun, May 11, 2014 at 9:02 AM

The Dry Creek Dairy near Hansen, better known as the Bettencourt dairy where videos of horrific animal abuse were taken triggering a statewide debate and the ultimate creation of the so-called Ag-Gag Law, has been sold.

This morning's Twin Falls Times-News reports that Luis Bettencourt has sold Dry Creek Dairy, which also happens to be one of the nation's largest dairy operations—including 10,000 cows. Bettencourt told the Times-News that he signed confidentiality agreements with the new owner who wants "to keep a low profile." But the Idaho Department of Agriculture told the Times-News that the new owner was identified as John Glessner, an Iowa farmer who was "linked to an Iowa egg-production facility which was implicated in a salmonella-related recall of more than 500 million eggs in 2010." The Times-News also reports that Glessner has been convicted of violating immigration law, and was hit with a four-month prison sentence and $300,000 fine.

Meanwhile, Bettencourt continues to own and operate four dairies in Wendell and two in Jerome.

In October 2012, Bettencourt Dairies told Boise Weekly that five of its employees, three of whom face Idaho state animal cruelty charges, had been terminated for poor treatment of dairy cows.

But it was video of that exact abuse that triggered legislation—the so-called "Ag-Gag Bill," which ultimately became lawthat penalizes undercover or journalism organizations from obtaining information or filming operations on Idaho farm operations.

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