FAIR OAKS — Charges have been filed on three individuals as a result video footage released last week into alleged animal cruelty at Fair Oaks Farms.
The Newton County Sheriff’s Office is actively looking for the following individuals:
38-year-old Miguel Angel Navarro Serrano.
36-year-old Edgar Gardozo Vazquez.
31-year-old Santiago Ruvalcaba Contreros.
Interviews with other persons of interest are being conducted.
The trio face charges for the beating of a vertebrate animal (Indiana Code 35-46-3-12), a Class A misdemeanor.
“This afternoon, I signed felony and misdemeanor charges asking for arrest warrants for three former employees of Fair Oaks Farms,” said Newton County Prosecutor Jeff Drinski. “During this investigation, Fair Oaks Farms has cooperated completely in our attempts to identify and interview all persons involved in the videos that we have all viewed over the past week.
“Although these three individuals are being charged, the investigation will continue. The video footage is being translated and further interviews will be conducted to determine if allegations of complicity by the planted employee or others are, in fact, true. As always, criminal defendants are innocent until proven guilty.”
Details of the investigation cannot be released at this time as the investigation is still active.
Questions regarding acceptable farm practices should be directed to the Indiana State Board of Animal Health as they are the governing body. They can be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.boah.in.gov
Assisting agencies include Indiana State Police, Indiana State Board of Animal Health and the Newton County Prosecutor’s Office.
The investigation comes after a video was released by Animal Recovery Mission, an animal rights group, after a three-month undercover investigation at one of the farms that make up Fair Oaks Farms.
The video that was released show numerous incidents of animal abuse, drug use by employees and the male bull calves being transported to a veal processing plant.
Three of the employees on the video had already been fired prior to the video being released and one employee was fired afterward, according to Fair Oaks Farms founder Mike McCloskey.