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Animal rights group claims dairy farm owner knew of cow abuse

Posted at 8:40 AM, Dec 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-13 19:58:35-05

The animal rights group Animal Recovery Mission released more video from an Okeechobee County dairy farm which it says shows the farm's owner knew and took part in alleged cow abuse.

ARM claims Jacob Larson, of Larson Dairy farm, witnessed his employees abusing cows.

ARM says the video shows Larson in the milking parlor on his farm and at one point is holding a cow while another employee kicked the cow in the head. 

Larson Dairy Farm made headlines in November when ARM released video showing cows being stabbed and punched. 

One person was later arrested in the case.

RELATED: Link to November ARM video. WARNING some may find the video disturbing.

When the first video was released last month Larson said he was appalled and disappointed and denied ever seeing abuse at his farm.

"His office is mere feet from the milking parlor.  So when our undercover officer was in David Larson's office talking to him, they could hear the yelling and screaming of the workers moving the animals," said Animal Recovery Mission founder and investigator Richard 'Kudo' Couto at a Wednesday morning news conference.  

Couto said he turned this video over to the Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office and other authorities. 

The sheriff's office has not yet responded to this video and continues its investigation into Larson Dairy.

Jim Sleper, CEO of Southeast Milk Inc., released the following statement:

“Southeast Milk, Inc. (SMI) has conducted comprehensive and independent third-party audits on the Larson dairy farm, and we are cooperating fully with both national and local law enforcement authorities. As announced last month, SMI has begun to implement comprehensive remedial management trainings on cow and calf care, and is also encouraging its members to implement and strengthen video surveillance on their farms.

We are also working with The National Dairy FARM Program to accelerate adoption of its newest iteration, Version 3.0, on every SMI member farm over the next six months. This version of the program requires documented training of workers on animal care throughout every stage of a cow’s life, stricter requirements for working with veterinarians, and mandatory corrective action for farms not meeting the standards.

Working with industry experts, this week I am personally leading mandatory training sessions for all our member owners or operators across all states where SMI has farms.  Animal abuse is never tolerated, and rather than speculate about what may have happened in the past, as ARM did today during its press conference, we instead are fully focused on moving forward with a renewed commitment to animal care and employee management and training.”

 

This is a developing story and will be updated.