On Friday, May 23rd, park rangers found several large garbage bags in a buffer zone just outside the Florida Everglades. Inside they found not the garbage they anticipated, but the remains of a butchered horse. Horrifying as that was, the investigation told an even more grisly tale of the horse's final moments.
Animal Recovery Mission was called to the scene to investigate this crime. According to the organization's founder, Richard Couto, the garbage bags contained the unused remains of a racehorse. The Quarterhorse bore tattoos on his lip and hoof and it was estimated that it was around three to four years old. As sad as such a burial or lack thereof is, Couto's investigation revealed a much worse tale.
According to Couto, the horse was butchered alive by first being stabbed in the heat to slowly bleed out. As the horse suffered and writhed in agony, the meat was cut away from the bone by his unknown assailants. This is not the first horse slaughter in recent memory for Miami-Dade county, in August 2013 horse remains of another horse that was butcher alive were found in the area while months before that a woman's personal horse was led from its barn and butchered in front of her colt.
While arrests for the past cases have been made and guilty parties sent to prison, the slaughter continues. The illegal practice of horse slaughter has been carried out by local ethnic cultures that believe horse meat enhances male virility and can cure disease. Though in reality, more often than not horse meat contains carcinogenic drugs that are banned from injecting into animals used for consumption in the United States.
Authorities still have no leads on this current case of horse slaughter, but the tattoos will trace the horse back to its owner which should hopefully yield some information as to when the horse went missing.