For months now horse poachers have terrorized horse owners in South Florida. At least 17 horses have been slaughtered, sometimes right in their own pasture, with parts of their carcasses removed, ostensibly for meat.
I will admit that I have studiously avoided reading the articles or looking at the photographs until I read they had arrested someone who has admitted to killing at least one of the horses. The images are graphic and upsetting and the idea that someone would sneak onto private property and cut the throat of a beloved pet sends shivers down my spine and would make me sleep in my barn with a shot gun if I lived in Dade county.
The person now in custody, Luis Miguel Cordero, only recently turned 18. He is obviously not the mastermind behind the operation; rather he is one of the cogs. He was caught because he asked a neighbor to help him kill two horses, offering a $2,000 payment. Instead, the neighbor called the police and agreed to wear a wire. An undercover officer posing as an “uncle” who was interested in horse meat, made the arrest. Dade County officials are not sure if Cordero is part of a larger operation. He was hired to do the first killing but seemed to have branched out on his own for the second.
It’s difficult to tell whether the butchering of these horses was done by by an organized group, or whether it’s a series of random events. The newspaper articles talk about the fact that horse meat can be sold on the black market. The questions are, to whom? and for what? Not to be overly gruesome, but the parts of the horses that were taken were not necessarily prime. Several horses had their legs removed, for example.
I’ve read speculation that the meat and bones were sold to feed fighting dogs (chewing on hard bones is supposed to help increase the strength of the dogs’ jaws), to feed exotic animals, and even more strangely, to be eaten by weight lifters (who claim horse meat is more beneficial than protein drinks). Health officials warn that eating black market horse meat can be dangerous because often horses have ingested drugs that could be harmful; selling horse meat for human consumption is illegal in the U.S.
I hope that this arrest will help authorities identify and capture more of these poachers. Until then, Floridians still need to guard against the potential loss of their beloved horses in whatever ways they can. To date, the reward for the identification and capture of these criminals is up to $20,000.
6 thoughts on “Arrest in South Florida horse poaching”
Maybe with this arrest they will learn more about the reasons for these awful crimes. I sure hope it’s over.
I’m going to post a link here because I’ve been following this story over at EHTT too.
Thank you Liz.
I’ve been following this as well and have had the same questions about what, exactly, these people are doing. There has been some speculation that the butchering has been interrupted before they were done, which might explain the seemingly random cuts. Or maybe they’re just not all that bright, which is pretty evident (IMO). Thanks for the great info.
This is overwhelming to think that a human being is capable of stabbing horses to death, cutting them up and then feeding them to pitbulls to profit even more with dog fighting. These people involved in this activity need to be jailed for life. They are extremely dangerous and could easily do this again and might include children next time, if they haven’t already… Sick, psychopaths; please keep them forever in jail….These poor horses and dogs need our help and protection. Report to the authorities is essential; all communities need to be on high alert for these horrific animal crimes.