Police searching for horse slaughter suspect
SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. (WSVN) -- Another horse has been slaughtered in South Florida, and authorities are now searching for those responsible.
Miami-Dade Police found a horse carcass in a canal near Southwest 205th Avenue and 136th Street, at around 2 p.m., Monday.
Investigators said, the horse's mutilated carcass was dragged over a guardrail and into the canal. "[The] car backed up to the guardrail, horse was dumped, dragged down to the bottom of the canal," said Richard Couto of Animal Recovery Mission. "When we got here, when Animal Recovery Mission investigators got on site, there were roughly 150 vultures just eating whatever was left."
Horse rancher Julia Yappell discovered the dead horse and believes the animal was butchered while still alive, and its meat was sold for human consumption. "It's common knowledge that they often slaughter the horses while they're still alive. Their tactics are to cut the vocal chords so the horse can't cry out, and they cut the throat to bleed it, and then, they immediately start butchering the animal," she said.
According to Couto, many people in Miami-Dade purchase and eat illegal horse meat. "Horse meat and pork are both very, very popular for Christmas dinner, unfortunately, in Miami-Dade County," said Couto, "so this horse was on someone's dinner table, probably Christmas night, and it's a sad reality that we have in South Florida."
Horse butchering is a serious crime in Florida, Couto said. "If you're caught butchering a horse alive, selling or buying of horse meat, you're looking at a minimum of a year in prison."
If you have any information on the identity or whereabouts of those responsible for this horse slaughter, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.
(Copyright 2011 by Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)