DEERFIELD BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - An animal rights group has released new video which, they said, shows that a South Florida dairy farm owner was aware of the abuse going on within the farm.
The video, released by the Animal Recovery Mission, shows a man who they claim is Larson Dairy Farms owner Jacob Larson in the dairy holding rebar.
“Here’s Jacob Larson on our first day of employment in the milking barn addressing his milking team, which are some of the most violent people we were undercover with,” said Richard Couto of the Animal Recovery Mission. “Jacob Larson is standing in the picture in the milking parlor with a cattle prod to electrocute animals.”
ARM investigators said Larson would also abuse the cows, and he was present while other employees did.
Other video shows Larson restricting a cow in the milking parlor while another employee kicks her.
Larson has denied knowing anything about the abuse but fired or suspended some of the alleged offenders for violating company policy.
“They read and sign off on an animal care paper, so we are very concerned about animal welfare,” said Couto. “We just can’t tolerate it. It’s wrong.”
Investigators said they gave the video to the local sheriff weeks ago, but no arrests have been made. They also said they gave the video to state prosecutors, and they said nothing has been done.
But the animal rights organization is hopeful the thousands of hours of video will be enough to bring legal action and put an end to the animal mistreatment used to provide dairy products to grocery store chains throughout the state.
“I am hopeful, if arrests have not been made yet, then they will be made,” Couto said. “Clearly Jacob knew what was going on and knew the involvement of his employees abusing the cows.”
According to investigators, if someone has a hand on an animal while abuse is being done to that animal, they are taking part in the crime.
Okeechobee County Sheriff Paul May said his office has already opened a criminal investigation into the matter.
7News has reached out to the Larson Farms for comment. 7News also reached out to South East Milk, which Larson Farms is a part of.
ARM Investigators said South East Milk has been picking up milk from the farm just days after the animal abuse case came out.
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