Crime

‘House of horrors’ slaughterhouse raided in Southwest Miami-Dade

Authorities found ovens and observed abuse at the Southwest Miami-Dade slaughterhouse.
Authorities found ovens and observed abuse at the Southwest Miami-Dade slaughterhouse.

Authorities on Thursday raided what they called an “illegal slaughterhouse” in Southwest Miami-Dade and charged a husband and wife with animal cruelty.

Miami-Dade police recovered several animals — pigs, chickens, ducks, turkeys — at the complex, 19400 SW 163rd St., in a residential area.

The Miami-Dade state attorney’s office and Miami-Dade County’s Organized Crime Unit took part in the raid, which came after an investigation into animal abuse and inhumane slaughter that began in May.

Undercover agents visited four times and observed animals being stabbed and boiled alive in tubs of water. Animals were prepped for sale to customers visiting the site, according to authorities.

The farm is reportedly owned Angel Ricardo Vargas, who lives in a house at the front of the property. Vargas was charged with four counts of cruelty to animals, and his wife, Mayelin Rodriguez, was charged with one count.

“Anyone involved in the food industry knows that there are easily performed, painless ways to slaughter livestock for food. At these illegal slaughterhouses, it seem to be too much trouble to render the animals senseless,” State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement. “Instead of following Florida’s laws, [the couple] turned a part of their home into an animal house of horrors.”

The investigation uncovered industrial ovens, the potential for unhealthy meat entered into the food supply, and filthy conditions, according to the state attorney.

Miami Herald news partner CBS4 contributed to this report.

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