Men accused of horse butchery in court

October 17, 2010

Animal lovers rallied on Friday as two men charged with horse butchery appeared in a Miami Court.

Santiago Cabrera
The cases of Santiago Cabrera, 20, and Luis Cordero, 19, were called before Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel, with about 25 protesters in the courtroom.

Cabrera and Cordero are charged over the deaths and butchery of two of 22 horses that died in the Miami Dade and Broward County areas last year.

The animals were slaughtered in the two counties last year in what police investigators say was part of a lucrative black-market trade in horse meat.

The industry provides meat to the large local population with roots from Cuba, where the consumption of horse meat is common.

Cabrera and Cordero face counts of armed burglary, grand theft, possession of burglary tools and killing a registered breed horse.

The judge ordered a psychological evaluation of Cabrera and has given Cordero's attorney more time to consider a plea deal.

It is understood the pair have been offered five years in prison for guilty pleas.

South Florida SPCA president Jeanette Jordan has labelled the horse attacks in Florida as heinous, brutal, unthinkable crimes.

"No horse is safe until we get justice and slaughterers get the picture that these ... crimes against our pets will not be tolerated in Florida," she said before the rally.

"My own personal nightmare came true in May when one of our rescue horses was found brutally murdered and dismembered while still alive. Her name was Holly."

She said it was important that horses like Holly, Geronimo, King Quizi, Linda, Comanche, Wings On The Track and others did not die in vain "at the hands of villainous brutes".