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Horses Are Being Slaughtered and Dumped in a Loxahatchee Canal

If you're looking to take Junior out for some angling in the wilderness, you might want to steer clear of Loxahatchee.

Last week, some people fishing a remote sliver of water out in the western edge of Palm Beach County stumbled upon a horrific find: the leftovers of a horse that had been slaughtered for meat.

It's actually the second time a body has been dumped in the spot in the past six months.

The Palm Beach County Animal Control responded to the call and cleaned up the remains, which were floating in the canal near the intersection of 180th Avenue and 32nd Street. The horse reportedly was shot in the head and then torn up for blackmarket meat.

As gruesome as that is, back in June, a black plastic bag was found bobbing in the same spot. The horse carcass inside had been brutally slashed across the throat. Neither case has produced any leads on who might be behind the Palm Beach slaughter.

Horse slaughter is a fairly common occurrence across Broward and Miami-Dade, and for years an active underground market has fed demand in those areas for the kind of meat you won't find in the aisles at Publix. A 2010 law -- the Ivonne Rodriguez Horse Protection Act -- hammered in place a harsh one-year mandatory prison sentence for anyone caught cutting up a horse.

But the two recent dumps in Loxahatchee are actually the first two reported cases in Palm Beach County. Despite tougher sanctions on horse slaughter, animal control experts say the spread north is due to a rise in underground demand. The taste for horse hock, apparently, cannot be sated.

Internationally, horse meat is now a bit of a hot topic, but not because of changing tastes. Earlier this year, Miami-based fast food peddler Burger King admitted that, oops, trace amounts of horse meat had ended up in meat patties produced by a company that services the chain's European locations. Scary thought: Who knows how much of your daily meat intake might actually include a little extra something?

Better stick to the salad bar.



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