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ARM releases video showing cow abuse at McArthur Farms in Okeechobee (graphic video)

cow abuse at McArthur Farms
cow abuse at McArthur Farms

ARM releases video showing cow abuse at McArthur Farms in Okeechobee

OKEECHOBEE, Fla. – The Animal Recovery Mission released a new video showing abuse at McArthur Farms in Okeechobee.

They said their undercover investigators recorded dairy cows being tormented, beaten and chased down with PVC piping and homemade tools.

One of the tools they said included a kitchen knife attached to the end of a PVC pipe. The pipe was thrust into the side of the cows.

ARM said blow torches are also inhumanely used to sear the hairs off of the cows’ udders as a shortcut to sanitizing the teats before milking.


The group said blow torches were aimed at the faces of cows and against their bodies in order to maneuver them.

McArthur Farms is also accused of using improper and inhumane procedures for birthing pregnant cows on site. It said pregnant cows are also being unnecessarily prodded with electrical devices during labor.

McArthur Farms is part of the Southeast Milk Cooperative.

Publix statement:

At Publix, we care about and are committed to animal welfare. We continue to work with Southeast Milk Incorporated (SMI) Cooperative and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to advance efforts that continuously improve the safety and well-being for all animals. By the end of this week, all SMI member farms will have completed animal welfare training under The National Dairy Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) Program in cooperation with the National Milk Producers Federation. In addition, we have conducted our own, independent, on-site animal welfare assessments on over a dozen dairy farms in Florida. We will continue to conduct these audits and remain focused on working with suppliers who share our values and goals.

This statement has been posted on the Southeast Milk website:

“Southeast Milk Inc. (SMI), has a zero-tolerance policy for animal abuse. As a cooperative of family-owned dairies, we know that caring for our animals is the right thing to do morally, economically, and ethically.

Our farmers are also sharply focused on producing the best and healthiest milk products from well-cared-for livestock, so our clients and their customers enjoy their farm fresh milk, every single day.

We, like many Floridians, were deeply upset and disappointed by the recent videos showing unacceptable animal care practices on two dairy farms that are members of our cooperative. This represents a breakdown in the adherence to our SMI protocols, as well as the broader standards we hold ourselves to as a part of the dairy community.

Our organization is a participating member in the National Dairy Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) Program, the U.S. dairy industry’s comprehensive quality assurance program for on-farm practices. Any employee of a farm marketing its milk through SMI who is found to have violated the animal care guidelines, as well as any employee who witnessed abuse and failed to report it, should be terminated. We pledge to cooperate with the many investigative authorities looking into all allegations. We have not and will not delay our cooperation for any reason.

The farms featured in the recently-released videos have been placed on probationary status. This is pending the completion of any and all corrective actions deemed necessary by a third-party auditor and the FARM Program. It should be noted that the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services inspectors reports that the many of the alleged animal welfare abuses referenced in a complaint were indeed connected to Hurricane Irma, and that the issues were addressed by the dairy owners even before FDACS received the complaint.

Recognizing that management of our member dairies begins from the top down, SMI will hold four comprehensive remedial management trainings for farm owners and operators the week of December 11th.

These remedial trainings will be mandatory for all of our members and will reinforce the importance of employee supervision, cow care and strongly support the ongoing on-farm culture of continuous improvement.

SMI is also working with FARM to accelerate the adoption and implementation of the newest iteration of the program, Version 3.0, at every SMI member farm in the next six months. Version 3.0 of the FARM Program requires enhanced training of workers, stricter requirements for working relationships with veterinarians, and stronger corrective action plan requirements for farms that are not meeting guidelines and standards.

Finally, realizing that dairies are 24/7/365, always-on facilities, it is essential that farmers and farm managers are able to evaluate every part of their day-to-day operations at a moment’s notice.  SMI is working with all of its member farms to introduce or strengthen video surveillance.  This will help ensure animals are being treated respectfully and humanely at all hours of the day and at all locations on the farm.


Warning Video is graphic. Dean foods denies owning this dairy farm.


(Editors note: ARM should have released their video in real time. There is no denying what you see with your own eyes. I’m looking for someone who can explain what the industry standard is.   If this behavior is  the standard then that needs to change. What is the role of the Department of Agriculture. Lastly, where can one get milk products from family farms and not corporate farm s. I’m having a difficult time believing that cows are flamed had anything to do with Hurricane  Irma. Is it the industry standard to electrocute mother cows when they are giving birth?

Here are places you can complain to;

Florida Department of Health
Bureau of Environmental Health
4042 Bald Cypress Way
Tallahassee, FL. 32399
email: [email protected]

Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Southeast District
3301 Gun Club Rd
MSC 7210-1
West Palm Beach, FL 33406
email: [email protected]

Florida Department of Agriculture
Bureau of Dairy Industry
3125 Conner Boulevard
Tallahassee, FL. 32399
Fill Out Complaint Form Here

Okeechobee Code Enforcement
Beth Albert, Supervisor
1700 NW 9th Avenue, Suite A
Okeechobee, Florida 34972
email: [email protected]Okeechobee County
Environmental Health Department
1728 NW 9th Avenue
Okeechobee, Florida 34972
email: [email protected]Okeechobee Building Department
Mike Desorcy, Building Official
1700 NW 9th Avenue, Suite A
Okeechobee, Florida 34972
email: [email protected]

link to a humane dairyfarm




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