Horses and Cows Rescued from Illegal Florida Slaughterhouse

Officers from the South Florida Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SFSPCA) and Miami-Dade Police Agricultural Patrol arrived at an illegal slaughterhouse not a moment too soon last week. A red steer, tied up inside a hot trailer with no food or water, was about to be killed.

“We walked to the back of the property. We could smell the rotting body parts long before you even saw it,” Laurie Waggoner, director of rescue operations for the SFSPCA, told ABC Local 10 News. “There’s cow skulls lying on the ground. There’s a pile of hides and entrails and cow feet. The smell is awful.”

The rescuers were able to save the steer’s life as well as cows, horses and a calf. One of the cows’ necks was broken. One person has been taken into custody, according to ABC Local 10 News.

“The horses and cows we rescued with Miami-Dade Ag Patrol yesterday are settling in nicely,” SFSPCA wrote in an Aug. 24 update on its Facebook page. “The cows are enjoying the freedom to graze, roam and relax in our large pasture, while the horses (we’ve named Little Dee and Godiva) are comfortable in their quarantine paddock.”

A veterinarian is taking care of the horses, who are eating and drinking “with enthusiasm,” according to the SFSPCA, which noted that this wasn’t surprising, considering they’d previously been fed stale bread.

Just a couple of weeks prior to this, three men were arrested during a raid on an illegal slaughter operation in Florida’s Palm Beach County. Authorities, tipped off by the nonprofit Animal Recovery Mission (ARM), arrested Ricardo Cabrera, his son Chico Cabrera, and another man, Roberto Llorente. They were charged with felony cruelty to animals, killing animals using inhumane methods and other crimes.

“We are looking at roughly anywhere from 1,500 to 2,000 animals a week being butchered alive on sight, and this property has been up and running for decades, so do the math,” Richard Cuoto, the founder of ARM, told CBS12 in a report that describes in sickening detail the truly horrific ways in which those animals were killed.

Three years ago, in what investigators then called the worst torture operation in the country, more than 9,000 animals were rescued from similarly unspeakable conditions at yet another illegal Miami-Dade slaughterhouse, again thanks to a tip from ARM. Coco Farms had a license to sell live animals, which enabled its illegal slaughter operation to fly under the radar for more than four decades.

In 2012, the Animal Legal Defense Fund sued two so-called “backyard butcher” operations in Hillsborough County for their cruel treatment of animals, which violated Florida’s Humane Slaughter Act and Food Safety Act. The Humane Slaughter Act requires animals to be unconscious and rendered insensitive to pain before they’re killed, which was certainly not the case in any of these illegal operations.

SFSPCA referred to the area where the Miami-Dade County slaughterhouse was located as “infamous.” ABC Local 10 News reported that authorities had investigated the same property several years ago regarding another illegal slaughter operation. It didn’t mention why it was able to happen again at this location.

These operations are not only horrifically cruel to the animals they butcher and sell on the black market, but the unsellable byproducts they dump are an environmental concern as well.

While there are illegal slaughterhouses elsewhere across the United States, the majority of them – perhaps over 500 — are located in Florida, according to Cuoto, who said it’s a full-blown industry. “It is millions and millions of dollars. This is organized crime,” he told The Dodo in 2015. “We have a hundred farms that we’re just waiting for the manpower to stop right now.”

Photo credit: WPLG Local 10/YouTube

79 comments

Leanne K
Leanne Kabout a month ago

Give me patience. What a stupid defence Nicole Heindrycks, you gotta be a troll with that surname

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Leanne K
Leanne Kabout a month ago

Omg I’ve heard of backyard slaughter and that chills me to the bone but illegal slaughter houses. Fills me with terror. Us humans do not deserve to be here

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Nicole H
Nicole Heindryckxabout a month ago

@ Diana P : The message hereunder to Angeles should in fact be for YOU !! Sorry for this mistake ! But, I repeat, you shoot me in the head, or send me to HELL, because I have the audacity of eating a small quantity of meat and fish and other food that is absolutely NOT allowed according to your ideas. But Jesus was a fisherman, and so were his 12 apostels were also fishermen. So we throw all the Christian religion in the trash bin because they ALL ARE MURDERERS !!!! OH shame on all christian peoples, the bishops and even THE POPE !!!
AND
Don't forget about all the pets. I don't know how many Care2 members have dogs and cats, but I don't think all of them will thrive on carrots, beets, beans, with pastas. So, what animals will be raise and kill to feed our pets ??? ??? ?? And how will be kill / slaughter them. When you think vegan, you must take into consideration all animals that eat meat and/or eventually drink milk or derivate products . All my dogs were fond of yoghurt, with or without sugar or fruits.

@ Angeles Madrazo : You only shot me dead because I have the audacity to eat some meat, fish etc.. but it

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Nicole Heindryckx
Nicole Heindryckxabout a month ago

@ Angelez Madrazo : Please note that calling out KARMA . I must admit I do not know whether a Buddhist is consuming meat and other food, apart from vegetables and grains, seeds, etc. However I know that Jezus was a fisherman and he ate fish.. So, how do you explain that ??

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Nicole Heindryckx
Nicole Heindryckxabout a month ago

@ Terri S : You don't think at least that people do not buy their steak at these slaughter houses. They sell these cows / calves and horses to small butchers, having a shop somewhere in poor areas. Please want to eat as well, and are glad they can buy a burger for their kids at such small prices. That's why I said in my first comment that it's a stupidity from the Authorities that they do apparently NOT control the books of these barbarians to see who is buying this half rotten meat. They can catch both parties. But as far as I can see, they only arrest the owners of the slaughter house ????? !!!!!!!! This is logic ??????? No this is laziness and incompetence !!!!!!!

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Nicole Heindryckx
Nicole Heindryckxabout a month ago

@ Bob P : I fully agree with you. We read and see on a daily basis that neither the Federal Government, nor local Authorities are doing ANYTHING to start a real war against ALL animal cruelty, and those folks who are behind it and earn heaps of money, even taking the risk of killing people of dogs / cats. They sell the meat, so someone is eating it or not ?? Think about this. Give your small toddlers a tender piece of cow meat, and a portion of poison at the same time....

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Nicole Heindryckx
Nicole Heindryckxabout a month ago

@ ALL vegetarians / vegans : NO, i will not protest against you pointing again your fingers at us, people who eat very small to moderate portions of meat, etc.. I still believe we are OMNIVORES. So are all PRIMATES, from gorilla's to chimps, bonobos, and even the very small ones. There are only a very few who only eat nuts, berries, leaves, etc.. Some are even specialized in eating shellfish, which they get from under the mud, and wash them first before cracking them.. I DO respect your way of living, PLEASE RESPECT MINE AND OTHER MEMBERS AND STOP BLAMING US FOR ALL WHAT IS GOING WRONG IN ANIMAL FARMS, SLAUGHTER HOUSES, ETC.. thanks !!

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Nicole Heindryckx
Nicole Heindryckxabout a month ago

I replayed the video because I thought I misunderstood. But NO ! They had already been at that enterprise to take away dead animals 4 / FOUR years ago. Question : Why did they not return say 6 months later or so, to see what had happened, and wether the owners had been sentenced to jail or whatever sentence 4 years ago. A child knows these barbarians would NOT stop their business. THIS IS A BIG SHAME FOR THE STATE OF FLORIDA !! WHO WAS THE GOVERNOR ?? WELL IF HE IS STILL THERE, KICK HIM OUT NOW !! The writer puts that easily over 500 of these illegal slaughter houses are located in Florida. Can you imagine that small butchers sell this "bad, toxic" meat is sold at small prices to poor people, causing deaths.... Has no one investigated that 4 years ago. When you catch the owners of the slaughter house, you also have the list of the buyers of the meat. So you can catch 2 gangs at the same time. Too stupid ? Or too much black money ?
I really wonder - apart from all the animal suffering - what politicians are still doing behind your backs. I think the whole U.S. must REFUSE to participate to the next elections....

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Mark Donner
Mark Donnerabout a month ago

500 in Florida? They should all be raided today and the perpetrators thrown in prison today.. don't wait another second.

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Deborah S
Deborab Sabout a month ago

Thank you

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