Florida dairy accused of animal cruelty; Publix suspends milk deliveries

An undercover video that purports to point out staff kicking cows within the head and hitting them with metallic rods has prompted authorities to open a felony investigation at one in every of Florida’s largest dairy farms.

  • Video purportedly exhibits animal cruelty at Larson Dairy
  • Okeechobee County Sheriff is investigating
  • Publix is suspending milk deliveries from Larson

Okeechobee County Sheriff Noel Stephen stated throughout a information convention Thursday that he assigned an investigator to the case involving Larson Dairy. And Florida-based mostly Publix supermarkets introduced it has suspended milk deliveries from Larson, including in a press release the corporate is “shocked” by the remedy of cows.

Publix stated it has contacted the Florida Division of Agriculture concerning the alleged abuse. In a press release the corporate stated, “we’re disturbed by the pictures and shocked by the cruelty towards animals.”

The video was shot by an investigator with Animal Restoration Mission, a Miami Seashore-based mostly animal cruelty group, who started working on the dairy in August.

“Dairy supervisors and milkers beat, stab and torment dairy cows with metal development rebar,” the narrator says. “The sharp metallic rods pierce and penetrate the cows’ our bodies. Stored hidden from excursions and guests to the dairy, the cows are brutalized.”

In a press release, Jacob Larson stated an worker seen within the video hitting cows has been fired, including that the “uncommon use of pressure is just unacceptable on our dairy or on some other farm.”

“We’ve strict protocols involving animal care and clearly the conduct proven on this video goes towards every thing we stand for and won’t be tolerated,” Larson stated. “The worker concerned and featured within the video has been terminated. Additional corrective motion might be taken if crucial as we proceed to research the video and conduct an on-farm investigation.”

Larson, whose household has been within the dairy enterprise since 1947 and in Okeechobee County since 1971, questioned the techniques of the animal rights group.

“We’re equally involved concerning the method during which this video was delivered to our consideration,” Larson stated. “Had the `undercover’ worker introduced this to our consideration when it occurred, we might have been capable of forestall it earlier.”

Richard Couto, the founder and lead investigator for the animal rights group, stated members did not select the Larson dairy due to any cruelty reviews however inside an hour of beginning the undercover operation discovered “robust sounds of animal abuse.”

“We needed to see what was occurring in a typical, bigger scale dairy setting within the state of Florida,” he stated.

The sheriff stated the supplies acquired by his workplace, together with nonetheless photographs and video, indicated three staff have been concerned.

He stated he is recognized the Larson household for years and stated they would not condone such conduct.

“Had they recognized about it,” Stephen stated, “they might have fired them on the spot.” 

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