Florida horse owners warned to be cautious as horses continue to be stolen and slaughtered for the black market.

Sumter Co police increase reward on horse thieves and slaughterers

A Zephyrhills, Florida woman says three intruders tried to slaughter her horses for their meat earlier this month.

Brena Kramer showed FOX 13 News a few of the injuries sustained by her horses, including cuts near their eyes and rope burns near their mouths. She says she found one horse with a rope still tied around its neck.

Kramer says she’s not surprised, but she wants to warn other horse owners in the area.

It is common down south, it’s something most horse owners know about, especially in Florida,” Kramer said. “They will bleed them out and start butchering while the horse is bleeding.

Recent horse slaughter cases in Manatee, Marion, and Sumter counties have left owners on edge. 

The reward for information leading to an arrest/conviction in a horse slaughter case in Sumter County has been increased.

Sumter County Sheriff’s detectives are continuing to pursue leads in the investigation of a horse being taken from the Sumterville area last year. They are asking anyone with information about the case to contact the sheriff’s office at (352) 793-2621. To remain anonymous and be eligible for the reward of up to $5,000, those with information can contact Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477).

In December, law enforcement officials from throughout the Central Florida area issued warnings about an outbreak of horse slaughter cases. Sheriff’s detectives from Sumter, Marion and Manatee counties were investigating crimes in their jurisdictions and it was believed that the horses were being harvested for meat in Palmetto.

Earlier this month, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office responded to social media posts claiming that horses had been slaughtered in the Sorrento area. Sheriff’s officials said they hadn’t responded to any calls for service in that area in reference to the killing of animals.

But they did confirm responding to a complaint of a suspicious vehicle in the Sorrento area that fit the description of a vehicle seen in another county where horses were slaughtered. They patrolled the area extensively but didn’t locate the vehicle or any injured or dead horses.

Horse owners are encouraged to be vigilant in ensuring the safety of their animals. Any suspicious incidents involving property, such as attempts to gain entry or cut fencing, should be reported to law enforcement immediately.

Local consumption

One takes it that the meat culled from stolen horses in Florida is being sold on the local black market. Horse meat is comparatively delicate and has a short shelf life, especially for human consumption. Horse meat produced at slaughter plants intended for human consumption overseas is freeze packed for shipping overseas.

Overseas consumption

Overall, an estimated 1.9 million American horses have been shipped to Mexico and Canada for slaughter since 2001 and there is no U.S. law to stop the practice.

An alarming number of Florida’s former prize-winning horses end up abandoned, starving, neglected and bound for the slaughter in Canada and Mexico, an ABC Action News review found.

We’ve created this cheap meat source for them, said Morgan Silver, executive director of the Horse Protection Association of Florida.

It costs $300 to $500 to have that horse euthanized. It’s going to cost them nothing if they have somebody come pick it up.

We agree. However, if you cannot afford the cost of euthanizing your horse and disposing of his or her remains, you have no business owning one.

Harsh? Perhaps, but we have a plan, and so should all horse owners regardless of status or income.

Insure your horse for a humane end

Buy professional horse mortality insurance or set aside a special bank account (our preferred solution) for the total costs of euthanizing and disposing of your horse’s remains. Don’t have a lump sum for it right now? Make a monthly deposit until you do. Go here to learn more »

1 thought on “Sumter Co police increase reward on horse thieves and slaughterers”

  1. Florida Stand Your Ground law “…..or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony,” all without a “duty to retreat.”

    I don’t know at all what is the Floridian legal interpretation of “forcible felony” and the statute seems to have a few arguments that could go two ways. It seems, from other news media, that a fairly loose interpretation happens in Florida.


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