BOISE -- Fast food giant Burger King will no longer conduct business with a Twin Falls dairy after citing concerns of animal mistreatment.
As we've reported, several workers at Bettencourt Dairies LLC. were fired after an undercover video taken by animal rights activists showed them beating, kicking, and jumping on cows.
On Thursday, representatives from Burger King said the company had temporarily suspended Bettencourt Dairies LLC. from it's suppliers.
In a written statement, Burger King Worldwide says they are launching their own investigation into the dairy's inhumane treatment of cows.
Dairy owner Luis Bettencourt says he's appalled at the video, and says his employees' behavior was unacceptable. Bettencourt also said his business has since installed video cameras to monitor employees.
In an exclusive interview, Bettencourt told KTVB he believes the negative impression of his dairy will have a financial impact on his business.
Bettencourt Dairies LLC. is Idaho's largest dairy operation with 13 facilities.
The following is the exact wording in the letter from Burger King to Bettencourt Dairies LLC.
"Burger King Worldwide has become aware of a video that depicts inhumane treatment of dairy cows. We take this matter very seriously. Burger King Worldwide does not tolerate or condone cruelty to animals. As a part of our animal welfare commitment, we require that all suppliers and their vendors adhere to our vendor code of ethics.
The Bettencourt Dairies farm where the video was allegedly filmed may be an indirect supplier of a small percentage of cheese products to BURGER KING® restaurants in the U.S. Burger King Worldwide has launched an immediate investigation into this serious allegation and has suspended the dairy farm from our supply chain until our investigation is complete. We understand that the individuals involved in this incident have been terminated and are being criminally charged.
The portrayal of the BURGER KING® brand in this attack does not accurately reflect the company's commitment and actions on issues relating to animal welfare.
For more than a decade, Burger King Worldwide has been a leader in the QSR industry, working with influential animal welfare organizations on industry-changing issues such as cage-free eggs and gestation-stalls. Burger King Worldwide has received several awards for its animal welfare efforts. In 2011, we were recognized with the Corporate Progress Award by The Humane Society of the United States for our industry-leading animal welfare practices. In 2008, PETA applauded the BURGER KING® system globally for its progress in the area of animal welfare and named us the "Most Improved National Food Chain" in their fifth annual Proggy Awards, which recognizes companies for their progress in the treatment of animals."