Undercover Video Shows Florida Cows Being Beaten With Steel Bars

An animal welfare group has blown the whistle on the horrific treatment of cows at a Florida Dairy Farm. The abuse was uncovered after one member of the animal rights group ‘Animal Recovery Mission’ (ARM) was able to sneak into the Larson Dairy Farm, Okeechobee County, after being hired as an employee.

From day one, the undercover activist quickly found that the animals were being cruelly treated without the public’s knowledge. According to the ARM website, Larson Dairy Farm was targeted by the group after they heard reports that employees often resorted to inhumane milking and directing techniques. In fact, the ARM website writes that Larson is rumored “to be the most brutal operations of all of the dairy farms in Florida.”

Within days, the ARM activist was able to capture video of Larson Dairy Farm workers beating cows with steel bars – even when milking cage bars prevented the animals from moving. The confronting video has already prompted Publix Super Markets – one of the biggest local clients for Larson Dairy Farm – to suspend further deliveries from the Florida Dairy Farm.

On the ARM website, the undercover whistleblower, who worked for more than a month at the farm, condemned the farm’s practices in the strongest possible way. The unnamed activist also gave in-depth descriptions of the barbaric treatment of cows at the facility:

“Cows are beaten into submission with metal construction rods known as rebar. Undercover agents documented several forms of ‘home made’ torture tools, including a spear-like weapon that is used to repeatedly stab the animal in the ribs, inflicting wounds that are left untreated. They are also beaten over their heads and bodies with these rods.

During daily milk collections, the cows are beaten over the head, punched, poked and kicked (including their sensitive udders) with other primitive tools, hooks and tools. The majority of these beating occur whilst the frightened animals are trapped in a metal headlock and unable to escape. The cows were witnessed to be maliciously beaten repeatedly for no apparent reason and deep wounds and untreated abrasions were evident.”

After local media outlets began reporting on the disturbing footage, the farm’s management went into damage control. “We are deeply saddened and appalled by the actions witnessed in this video, which first came to our attention this morning,” said the farm’s owner, Jacob Larson. “The unusual use of force is simply unacceptable on our dairy or on any other farm.”

However, Larson quickly changed his tone while speaking to WPBF. “I think they have an agenda,” said the farm owner while speaking about ARM. “They want to put farms out of business.”

The founder of ARM, Richard Couto, agreed that his organization had an agenda (every organization does), but argued that this ‘agenda’ was only to see “what was happening in a typical, larger scale dairy setting in the state of Florida.”

On the ARM website, the undercover worker tells readers how sickened he was by the scenes in Larson Dairy Farm. “With so many alternatives of dairy available in today's society, there is an imminent need to end the cruelty associated within these operations for our own consumption,” he wrote, urging people to adopt a more ethical diet. “ARM’s message stands to adopt plant based diets, compassionate lifestyles and to go vegan.”

Source: HuffPost
Photo: YouTube, Flickr/ Neil H., Oregon State University

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