SOUTHWEST RANCHES, Fla. – The Broward Sheriff’s Office was looking for thieves Tuesday who stole a horse and then slaughtered him about two blocks from his home in Southwest Ranches.
About 7 a.m. Saturday, David Sangiao-Parga told deputies Marco, his 8-year-old retired racehorse, had been stolen on Friday from Just Perfect Landscaping at 5345 Southwest 210th Terrace. Marco was rescued after breaking his leg several years ago.
The thieves climbed a fence and led the horse away from the stables along a canal bank on the back of the property, said deputies. A second horse was left behind.
The stolen horse was found about two blocks away at South Eastern Fish Farms about 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Deputies said the hind quarters and two large sections of the horse’s back had been removed.
“It’s hard, I think, for people who don’t own a horse to understand because it’s a different kind of bond you have with pets,” said Sangiao-Parga. “They have, you know, it’s almost like another family member.”
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call BSO at 954-765-4321.
FRANCES ROBLES reporting for the Miami Heraldwrites:
Snake handler Giselle Hosein was in the middle of her performance Saturday at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino near Hollywood, displaying a three-foot Indian cobra also known as “naja naja” when, as she placed the “spectacled” cobra back into its cage, it nipped the palm of her hand. She calmly stepped aside and whispered to her boss: “I’ve been bit.”
A bite like this can quickly cause paralysis and death. Hosein was one of the lucky ones thanks to Miami-Dade’s unique Venom Response Unit who flew to Hosein’s rescue. Hosein is in stable condition at a Hollywood, Florida hospital.
What does this have to do with horses? Antivenin (equine origin) is made by injecting a horse with venom taken from poisonous snakes, spiders, even scorpions, then withdrawing quantities of the horse’s blood to harvest the antibodies produced against the venom’s active molecule.
The Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Venom Response Unit, the country’s only fire department-based antivenin bank, arrived at the hospital by helicopter with five vials imported from India.
Miami-Dade banks antivenin to treat 50 different kinds of venom, covering 90 percent of snakes, scorpions and spiders. The product is made by milking venom from snakes and injecting it into horses. Antibodies from the horse’s blood are used to develop the treatment, which is freeze-dried and then reconstituted with saline.
It is not exactly approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which is why it’s not kept at the hospital. The Venom Response Team keeps its stash at Tamiami Airport, where it can be easily transported by chopper.
Antivenin is produced in the US, or by US-based pharmaceutical giants who manufacture drugs worldwide.
Merck makes a black widow spider antivenin (equine origin) using horses.
And no surprise here, but when Pfizer acquired Wyeth, they picked up a division that manufactures snake bite antivenin (equine origin) made with — you guessed it, horses.
Mostly big horses are used because they have lots of blood to donate for antivenin production.
How handy that Pfizer / Wyeth have lots of “big horses” at their disposal, so to speak, from the manufacture of their Premarin family of drugs.
Now about this? Antivenin is also made in Mexico, using you guessed it, horses, in this case we are told they mostly use slaughter horses. How convenient for them, and how tasty for horse meat diners. Now that’s toxic.
Why keep using horses to produce antivenin? That is an important question in light of the fact that the National Geographic reported in 2003 that scientists in India found a way to induce snake antivenin into common poultry eggs.
It seems that the exploitation of horses is absolutely endless.
ESPN will air a special segment of E:60, Tuesday, May 3, 2011 at 7 pm, on the slaughter of racehorses taking place in the Miami area of Florida to supply the black market demand for horse meat for human consumption.
“Inside the Horse Meat Black Market” airs the week of the Kentucky Derby to draw attention to the plight of the percentage of racehorses who end their days illegally slaughtered.
The E:60 special will highlight the dramatic rescue of Freedom’s Flight by Richard “Kudo” Couto during undercover operations that exposed these horrific crimes, eventually leading to a state law criminalizing the slaughter of horses in this manner. Freedom’s Flight is a Thoroughbred racehorse and grandson of the legendary Secretariat.
Still largely unknown to the public and described as racing’s “dirty secret”, a portion of Thoroughbreds too slow or no longer fit to race are cast off by their owners and trainers and sent to slaughter in licensed plants to supply horse meat to gourmet diners in Europe and Japan.
Kudo is the founder and president of ARM, the Animal Recovery Mission, and a volunteer for the South Florida SPCA. As of September 1, 2010, Kudo has been instrumental in shutting down more than 75 farms illegally butchering horses for human consumption. The fight continues with 150 known farms remaining, according to ARM’s website.
E:60 is ESPN’s prime-time newsmagazine featuring profiles, investigations and cutting-edge stories on emerging and established sports. E:60 airs Tuesdays at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN through May 10.
A Florida man, Luis Miguel Cordero, was sentenced on Feb. 1 to serve four years in prison after he pleaded guilty to poaching two horses and butchering them for their meat.
In September 2009, Miami-Dade County law enforcement authorities arrested Santiago Cabrera in connection with a July 2009 incident involving a horse discovered dead in a pasture near its stables that was apparently butchered for its meat. Cabrera later confessed to taking part in a similar killing in Miami Gardens.
Miami-Dade County law enforcement authorities also arrested Cordero in September 2009 as he attempted to poach two horses located in the pasture of a Northwest Miami-Dade County ranch. Cordero later confessed to the Miami Gardens incident. The killings were two among 20 similar horse poaching incidents that took place in Miami-Dade County and Miramar, Fla., in 2009.
Both Cordero and Cabrera were later each charged with multiple felonies including killing a registered breed horse, armed burglary, and animal cruelty in connection with the killings.
Cabrera pleaded to the charges against him. On Dec. 17, 2010, Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Sarah Zabel sentenced him to five years in prison in connection with the incidents. Read more >>