After KCBD obtained a graphic video of ranch workers using pick axes and hammers to kill cattle, we asked industry experts how disabled and injured cows are supposed to be put down.
"There are certain methods of euthanasia that are approved by the animal scientists and veterinarians, that's not one of them," said Texas Tech animal care expert John McGlone after he watched the video.
McGlone says methods like a gunshot, captive bolts, or drugs are approved by groups like the American Veterinarian Medical Association they're quick and painless.
"Most of the animals that die or need to be euthanized are young animals because they're more susceptible to various problems like infectious disease or weather related problems," McGlone said.
The owner of the E-6 Ranch says frostbite was to blame for having to put down so many cattle. According to McGlone frostbite can make an animal unfit to for someone to eat, but it's uncommon in west Texas. "Except for when a freak cold system comes through, and he clearly was not prepared for that."
Dairy Max is a council for operations in Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. They say the ranch could have been a supplier for two industries.
"The particular operation that the video was shot on is a calf raising operation, so they raise calves that might become dairy cows or beef cows," said Dairy Confidence Program Director Teresa Wagner.
Dairy Max says the video is disturbing and doesn't represent their industry. "The actions you saw in video are not condoned by the dairy industry in anyway and do not reflect responsible management practices that our dairy farmers and dairy farmers across the country use every single day to ensure that their cattle are well cared for.
The National Dairy Farm Program has a manual that explains the recommended treatment of animals that need to be put down. We have a link (CLICK HERE).
©2011 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.