Undercover video shows worker kicking cows at Fla. dairy farm

Associated Press

OKEECHOBEE, Fla.

An undercover video that shows workers kicking cows in the head and hitting them with metal rods has prompted authorities to open a criminal investigation at one of Florida’s largest dairy farms.

Okeechobee County Sheriff Noel Stephen said during a news conference Thursday that he assigned an investigator to the case involving Larson Dairy. And Florida-based Publix supermarkets announced it has suspended milk deliveries from Larson, adding in a statement the company is “shocked” by the treatment of cows.

Publix said it has contacted the Florida Department of Agriculture about the alleged abuse. In a statement the company said, “We are disturbed by the images and shocked by the cruelty toward animals.”

The video was shot by an investigator with Animal Recovery Mission, a Miami Beach-based animal cruelty group, who began working at the dairy in August.

“Dairy supervisors and milkers beat, stab and torment dairy cows with steel construction rebar,” the narrator says. “Kept hidden from tours and visitors to the dairy, the cows are brutalized.”

In a statement, Jacob Larson said an employee seen in the video hitting cows has been fired, adding that the “unusual use of force is simply unacceptable on our dairy or on any other farm.”

“We have strict protocols involving animal care and clearly the behavior shown in this video goes against everything we stand for and will not be tolerated,” Larson said.


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