The Animal Recovery Mission claims to have found illegal slaughterhouse operations involving animal cruelty being conducted in Citrus Park of Tampa Bay.
ARM is a nonprofit animal welfare investigative organization based out of Miami Beach.
The illegal operations have been operating over the last 40 years due to little or no enforcement from local authorities, ARM officials claim. They are in the business of butchering animals for human consumption, ARM claims.
Many horses are tattooed and registered racehorses, say ARM Investigators who also documented wild horses "branded by the Department of the Interior" on Hillsborough County slaughter farms. ARM has a wild mustang in custody rescued from a slaughter farm.
ARM investigators say they were able to buy horse meat and document animals being butchered. ARM founder and lead lnvestigator, Richard Couto, reportedly embedded himself among the butchers for 11 months to build a case against them and their activities through video and audio documentation.
He helped save animals, including horses, pigs, goats, sheep and all types of poultry and birds.
Methods of animal deaths included being shot, knifed, hammered, boiled alive and drowned. Hundreds of animals have been butchered alive, say ARM investigators.
Animals sold for human consumption are entering the food chain within Tampa Bay and pose as a serious health risk as the meat is not inspected by the USDA.
Since 2010, ARM investigations say they have closed 82 illegal slaughter, animal sacrifice and animal fighting farms in Miami-Dade County.