An animal-abuse investigator says he uncovered the remains of several slain animals at a Kendall-area dump site after a nearby resident reported finding a freshly-slaughtered horse on Thursday.
Richard Couto, of the Animal Recovery Mission, said the horse had been beaten with a blunt object so badly that its right eye exploded. It was then butchered for its meat, probably at a different location, he said.
They harvested all his meat, said Couto, who said the remains were in about 150 pieces at a site near Southwest 81st Street and 122nd Avenue. He believes the horse was about 2 years old.
On Friday, he said that he and a colleague found skeletal remains of three more horses and various other farm animals, and a bag of ritual objects such as wooden axes, associated with a religious sacrifice.
Horse slaughters in both Miami-Dade and Broward counties have become increasingly common in the past few years.
Although it is illegal to buy or sell horse meat in Florida, it does sell on the black market for about twice the price of beef. There are some cultures that believe eating horse meat will bring them strength.
According to Laurie Waggoner, with the South Florida SPCA, horse meat is a lean meat and people think it will cure them of heart disease. It sells for about $8 a pound, compared to $4 a pound for regular beef, she said.
Just last week, Southwest Ranches, in Broward County, approved Marcos Law, which would enforce the most strict penalties in the state against anyone found killing, maiming, mutilating or harming a horse: up to one year in jail and $5,000 fine.
Miami-Dade police are investigating the latest incident. The initial reports states that the freshly-killed animal had been dumped next to the roadway dismembered inside tall grass.