TAMPA (FOX 13) - Florida dairy farmers are promising changes following the release of undercover videos that show workers beating and kicking cows at two farms in Okeechobee County.
"We recognize we have an issue, we're trying to learn from it, and move forward to gain the trust of all our customers, and especially our consumers," said Jim Sleper, CEO of Southeast Milk Inc., a cooperative group that markets and sells Florida dairy products.
He spoke to the media Monday from a dairy farm in Hardee County.
Publix Supermarkets stopped buying milk from the two Okeechobee farms implicated in the video released by Animal Recovery Mission, an activist group based in South Florida.
Southeast Milk has suspended the two farms, Larson Dairy Farm and Burnham Dairy Farm. Several workers were reportedly fired by the farms and arrest warrants were issued for animal cruelty.
"Any employees who witnessed animal abuse and failed to report it should be terminated. We pledge to cooperate with authorities looking in to all allegations," Sleper continued.
Sleper said farms will look into installing surveillance cameras in barns, and special training will be held for workers.
He said what is seen on the videos does not represent the values of Florida dairy farmers, and they'll do whatever they can to see that it doesn't happen again.