Publix done with state's biggest milk provider after cow abuse video

An animal rights group shot the video, showing the abuse.

OKEECHOBEE, Fla. -- Sheriff's officials have opened a criminal investigation into the alleged mistreatment of cows at a Florida dairy farm.

Okeechobee County Sheriff Noel Stephen said during a news conference that he assigned an investigator to the case after viewing an undercover video that showed a worker kicking cows in the heads and beating them with metal rods.

The video released Thursday was shot by an investigator with Animal Recovery Mission, a Miami Beach-based animal cruelty group, who began working at Larson Dairy in August.

Publix supermarkets announced Thursday it has suspended milk deliveries from Larson, adding in a statement the Florida-based company is "shocked" by the treatment of cows.

In a statement, Jacob Larson said the employee has been fired and company officials are "appalled" by the actions in the video.

Publix released the following statement following the release of the video.  It read, “We are disturbed by the images and shocked by the cruelty shown towards the animals.  We are suspending raw milk deliveries from that farm.  At Publix, we care about and are committed to animal welfare.”

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© 2017 Associated Press


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