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Humane Officers find no animal abuse at Pinnacle
Green County Sheriff and Jail

MONROE — Green County Humane Officers found no animal abuse or neglect at a large-scale dairy farm northwest of Brodhead during an unannounced inspection Thursday, Feb. 20.

A Feb. 3 tip to the Green County Sheriff's Office prompted the inspection at Pinnacle Dairy, N4201 Decatur-Sylvester Rd., said Sheriff Jeff Skatrud in a special news release Friday, Feb. 21. The emailed tip provided links to 25 short YouTube videos that showed injured, ill or deceased cattle and at least one video of an individual kicking a dairy cow.

The team of seven trained Humane Officers arrived at Pinnacle shortly before 9 a.m. Thursday, along with a veterinarian and a deputy with "extensive experience working in the dairy industry," Skatrud wrote.

The team determined the allegations were unfounded.

"After a complete inspection of the premises, deputies and the state veterinarian unanimously determined that any complaints of animal abuse or neglect or issues concerning the disposal of carcasses" were unfounded, Skatrud wrote in the release. "The premise was clean, sanitary and had adequate areas for injured or ill animals and had veterinary care for animals that were in need of treatment."

The allegations of abuse and neglect were also emailed to the Green County District Attorney as well as at least one Madison-based news outlet in early February, according to Skatrud.

Humane officers reviewed the videos linked in the email and "determined that an inspection of the farm was warranted to ensure that animal carcasses were being properly disposed of and that injured or ill animals were receiving adequate care," Skatrud wrote.

Management at Pinnacle welcomed the officers onto the premises and provided access to all areas of the property, he wrote.

Deputies determined the videos had been recorded in January 2019 and the person believed to be responsible for making the recordings had his employment terminated from Pinnacle the same month. Deputies determined the videos were made out of context and not an accurate reflection of practices at the farm.

One of the videos showed a worker kicking a cow. That employee was terminated from the farm in May 2019 for performance issues, the investigation found.

Skatrud concluded that no additional law enforcement action regarding the matter is warranted and that he considers the investigation into Pinnacle closed.

Pinnacle Diary is a new concentrated feeding operation with over 5,000 dairy cows located along County FF and Decatur Sylvester Road. It received public protest as an unnecessary potential pollutant before the county Land and Water Conservation Committee in April 2017 voted unanimously in favor for it to be built.