A man accused of running an illegal slaughterhouse on his farm on the outskirts of Hialeah was booked into jail early Sunday morning, online jail records showed.
Rudesindo “Rudy” Acosta has been accused of brutally beating an animal with a sledge hammer as it squeals in pain, then stabbing it repeatedly, which violates animal cruelty laws, authorities said. He faces charges including animal cruelty.
It wasn’t immediately known if he had an attorney.
On Saturday, authorities and volunteers rescued hundreds of horses, pigs, goats, cows, geese, ducks and chickens from the slaughterhouse.
"It's very, very sad to see animals, baby goats with severe infections laying in mud. They've lost. They don't have their mothers for milk, dead pigs, you know, horses that are usually a companion animal waiting to be slaughtered in inhumane ways,” said volunteer Mark Quadrozzi.
After a two-year investigation, officers arrested Acosta on Saturday as well.
“This property is straight out of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It's a really scary place," said activist Richard Cuoto, who did much of the undercover work.
He secretly filmed what went on in the remote county area.
“If you know the right people you can enter these farms and buy any type of meat you want. You can go up to a live animal, pick him out, they'll walk up with a sledge-hammer, kill and torture that animal right there in front of you, butcher it and leave with it to pack,” Cuoto said.
Cuoto is largely responsible for uncovering and ending many of illegal slaughterhouses. He says this is just one of many in Miami-Dade County, but adds that it is possibly one of the worst he has seen.
“Thousands of people are getting their animals and their meat from these facilities and they are disgusting. The most unsanitary areas in our country,” he said. “Most people in South Florida don't know that they're eating tainted, uninspected meat. And I can assure you from coming out of this property today many of these animals are sick. Many had to be put down because they are so sick. And if we didn't come here and transport them out of here or put them down they would've entered the food supply."
Officials were also concerned about the health hazards to ground water from the blood that drains when illegally and unsanitary butchering animals, and also the hazards to people who eat meat obtained from these slaughterhouses.