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Report: Several Wisconsin farmers deny animal abuse in viral video

GREENLEAF, WI (WTAQ) - Brown County sheriff's deputies continue to investigate animal abuse exposed in a video from an animal rights group at the Wiese Brothers farm near Greenleaf.  

District Attorney David Lasee said he has not been asked yet to consider criminal charges. State Senate Democrat Tim Carpenter of Milwaukee asked Lasee to prosecute the workers shown in the video made by the group Mercy for Animals.  

Carpenter joined dairy industry leaders in calling the video "reprehensible."

The video was first made public on Tuesday, and it's gone viral on the Internet. That was after Nestle said it stopped using milk from the farm for some of the cheese in its DiGiorno pizza.  

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel quoted several farmers as saying some of the practices shown in the video were not animal abuse -- and that Mercy for Animals could be using it as propaganda. The group encourages a vegan diet.  

Buffalo County dairy farmer John Rosenow said it's not rare for large farms to have disabled animals a couple times a month -- and while they need to be convinced to move, they must be handled carefully.  

The video showed workers dragging, kicking, and whipping downed cows. One was seen suspended in the air.  

Wiese Brothers said it fired two workers involved and re-assigned a third one.  

Mercy for Animals says it's seeking talks with Nestle about making its milk suppliers follow guidelines against animal cruelty. Matt Rice says his group has not heard anything back from the company but, "We are hopeful."

(**WARNING: Video contains language and images that some may find offensive. Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)