Dairy farm co-op vows change after cow abuse videos

Published: Updated:
Screenshot taken from a documentary via the Animal Recovery Mission

OKEECHOBEE, Fla. The cooperative that oversees two dairy farms implicated in videos showing abuse of cows is promising action.

Southeast Milk Inc. CEO Jim Sleper on Monday called for the firing of any employee who abused cows or failed to report abuse. Videos released by a Miami Beach-based animal cruelty group appear to show abuse at a pair of Okeechobee farms.

MORE: Larson Dairy Farm on probation status following animal abuse allegations
MORE: Second Okeechobee dairy farm accused of animal cruelty

Those farms have been placed on probation “pending the completion of any and all corrective actions deemed necessary by a third-party auditor and the FARM program,” Sleper said.

The FARM program is a U.S. dairy industry quality assurance initiative.

Sleper said many of the abuse cases were tied to Hurricane Irma, but didn’t elaborate how.

Southeast Milk Inc. will conduct mandatory remediation training for farm owners and operators, and it will implement a program of enhanced training and discipline, Sleper said. The group is also working to set up more video surveillance.

The leader of the Animal Recovery Mission, the group that released the videos, says it’s investigating four cases of possible cow abuse in Lee County.

MORE: Group that uncovered cow abuse says far worse happening in Lee County

Copyright ©2023 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.