Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters


Hundreds Of Animals Rescued In Biggest-Ever Animal Cruelty Raid

October 16, 2015 Care2

It’s being called the “largest tactical strike on extreme animal cruelty operations in U.S. history.”

On the morning of October 13, authorities in Florida’s Palm Beach County, with the help of officials from the Miami-based animal rights group Animal Recovery Mission (ARM), raided three illegal slaughterhouses in the town of Loxahatchee: Rancho Garcia, Medina Farms, and Paso Fino G.A.

Six men, the slaughterhouse owners and their employees, have been arrested on various felony charges for animal cruelty and the unlicensed sale of meat, and their operations have been shut down.

Authorities were also able to rescue about 1,000 animals who had managed to survive: goats, pigs, cattle, numerous species of birds, dogs, cats and fighting roosters.

They were not, however, able to save the thousands of animals that have been brutally tortured, beaten, butchered and skinned alive. Warning: the information below contains graphic details about the raid.

An Undercover Investigation

The raid and the arrests came after a six-month undercover investigation carried out by members of ARM, who cleverly infiltrated these properties by getting to know their owners and posing as potential customers, so that they could film on the grounds. The video that one ARM member recorded on August 22 at Rancho Garcia showed owner Rafael Ramirez tying a goat’s neck to a fence, while his buddy Jorge Garcia uses another rope tied to the goat’s rear left leg to hang the animal about 3 feet in the air. Finally, Ramirez slashes the goat’s throat with a large knife.

Even worse, the two men seem to be highly amused by the torture they are inflicting on the goat. “The goat began bleeding profusely and continued struggling violently. It was obvious by the video that this animal was suffering unnecessarily and in excruciating pain,” a sheriff’s investigator wrote in a report. After a veterinarian viewed the footage, he described the slaughter as “inhumane, primitive and frankly disgusting.”

The Sheriff’s Office quoted a state law on the slaughter of animals, which states “No person shall shackle or hoist with intent to kill any animal prior to rendering the animal insensitive to pain.” Clearly this law has been violated.

In a separate video, filmed on September 9, an ARM member witnesses a cow being shot in the head at Median Farms. The cow does not die instantly, and as she struggles, a slaughterhouse worker cuts her neck. Even as she is kicking her legs, the video shows employee Jose Reyes starting to butcher her.

This, and much more footage provided to authorities, proved to be vital documentation of “inhumane, primitive and frankly disgusting” acts of animal brutality on the grounds of these three Loxahatchee slaughterhouses. 

Horse Meat For Human Consumption

Another horrific discovery by ARM members was the sale of horse meat for human consumption. An ARM member called the Sheriff’s Office in September, after he visited Rancho Garcia and was invited to purchase about 11 pounds of horse meat. The ARM member handed it over to the Sheriff’s Office; they had it tested and found that it was indeed horse meat.

People had heard the horrifying screams of animals before their inhumane slaughter. But it took the Animal Recovery Mission’s actually getting inside these “farms” and filming the barbaric and disgusting slaughter of animals to force authorities to raid the properties. 

And this has been going on for a long time. In the case of Medina Farms, although it is legally incorporated, the owner and his employee have probably been illegally killing and torturing animals for decades.

If you can take any more, here’s what ARM wrote in their report: ”The animals on this property lived in deplorable structures and improper shelter. ARM investigators had never seen these animals fed or having food nor provided with clean water. The only food source they have available are intestines, blood and carcasses of newly slaughtered animals. Pigs have even been documented by ARM to be eating off the carcasses of hanging butchered animals, swarmed with flies and are awaiting customer sales.”

The facility was also host to a puppy mill, where young dogs were treated no better than any of the other animals.

The Tip Of The Iceberg

As appalling as these findings are, there are probably many more illegal slaughterhouses using similarly horrific methods.

“We have a hundred farms that we’re just waiting for the manpower to stop right now,” Richard Couto, the founder of ARM, told The Dodo last March, at the time of another huge animal rescue operation. “There are probably over 500 of these farms in the state of Florida. There are certainly small farms like this found throughout the country, but in Florida, it is a full-blown industry. It is millions and millions of dollars. This is organized crime.”

Comment: It would be better for all of society if these sadists were put to death. When will we find the inherent immorality of such crimes intolerable? When will we be moved to put an end to these atrocities once and for all?

Read more: Battery Bunnies - a deplorable state of affairs; backyard butchery cruelty; ALDF lawsuit; extreme cruelty, illegal slaughterhouses raided, Florida, Animal Recovery Mission

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