The decomposing remains of three horses were found in Hialeah Gardens on Wednesday after being butchered for human consumption, an animal welfare group said.
The South Florida Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said the conditions in which the horse carcasses were found suggest the animals were butchered for their meat.
A property surveyor found two horses within makeshift stables on a property, while the other horse was tossed near some shrubbery.
"All the meat is scraped off the bones, from the neck all the way down to the legs. The front legs have been removed," explained Laurie Waggoner, South Florida SPCA.
One of the horses, possibly a thoroughbred, had its upper lip cut out – the location where one would find an identifying tattoo. Another horse is bay in coloring without white facial markings, and the other is a palomino. The group said the horse's sex could not be determined.
“This is tragically common in South Florida,” South Florida SPCA President Kathleen Monahan said in a statement. "As an organization dedicated to the health, welfare and safety of horses, we will continue to everything we can to educate the public and work with law enforcement to put an end to this hideous practice.”
The South Florida PCA said the meat is toxic to humans due to the vaccinations and medications domesticated horses are regularly given, adding such meat "should never be consumed by humans, or animals.”
"Horses get medications.. throughout their life. Especially like a race horse. And they are given medications that can be deadly when consumed by humans," Laurie Waggoner, South Florida SPCA director of rescue operations, said.
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NBC 6 is awaiting comment from the Miami-Dade Police Department.