A Palm Beach County States Attorney’s office prosecutor has told the court that evidence is lacking in alleged illegal horse slaughter cases connected to raids at three farms in Palm Beach and Loxahatchee, Florida, last month. But Richard Couto, founder of the animal advocacy organization that investigated the cases, disagrees.
In October, Couto’s Animal Recovery Mission (ARM), along with personnel from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and other agencies, raided Rancho Garcia in Loxahatchee and G.A. Paso Fino Farm and Medina Farm, both in West Palm Beach. A total of 750 animals—including horses, goats, cattle, pigs, dogs, cats, and birds—were rescued during the raids.
Eight people have been arrested in connection with the raids and, according to a story published Nov. 3 in the Palm Beach Post, three of them have pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges.
The same story indicated that, during proceedings, prosecutor Judith Arco told the court that investigators had not produced sufficient evidence to connect the eight men working on the raided farms with any illegal horse slaughter or meat sales.
“There’s absolutely not a single video, not any single piece of evidence, that horse slaughter occurred on any of these three farms,” Arco said in the newspaper story.
The story also indicated that Arco said no horse carcasses or other evidence was found to indicate that meat had come from any of the farms.
Meanwhile, Couto said investigators had provided prosecutors with all the evidence taken at all three of the raided farms, including evidence showing that illegal hor