Authorities in Palm Beach County raided three illegal slaughterhouses in October in Loxahatchee with the help of officials at the Animal Recovery Mission. The bust, the largest in U.S. history, resulted in arrests of six slaughterhouse owners and employees. About 1,000 animals were found alive by rescuers. Authorities stated that the owners were involved in the underground slaughter of horses and illegal sale of their meat for human consumption. The meat was sold from Palm Beach County to Miami. One owner and his employees were caught selling large amounts of horse meat; torturing pigs, goats, rams, and ducks; and using a portion of his farm as a puppy mill. The owner was arrested on two charges of causing cruel death to conservation animals and two counts of torment to conservation animals. Another owner who raised horses for slaughter rented his land to others who tortured chickens, pigs, and goats; part of his land, too, was used as a puppy mill, and cock-fighting roosters were also found on site. The tenants were charged similarly to the owner in the first case. Finally, the owner of the corporation which owns the last farm was also charged with similar crimes. In total, about 750 animals were seized, consisting of goats, pigs, cattle, dogs, cats, birds, and fighting roosters.
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