Horsemeat is a popular cuisine in a select few countries like Central Asia, eventually playing a crucial part of traditions from South America to Europe and Asia. About 4.7 million horses are consumed annually in these various countries. Wild horses have been hunted as a source of protein. These practices are taboo in many other countries since horses are considered loving companions and workers. In the USA, the consumption of horsemeat is illegal.

Elderly Miami-Dade man caught selling horsemeat

A tip from an informant led the Miami-Dade police to the home of a 70-year-old man, Mr. Coto-Martinez who was accused of selling horsemeat and he was taken into custody.

During an investigation, an undercover detective purchased 20 pounds of horsemeat from the man for $140, as stated by the attorney’s office. A woman boarding her horse at the man’s place had concerns about her own companion and rushed to his home to check on her animal. After retrieving her horse, the woman stated that she always felt her horse was secure on the property with Mr. Coto-Martinez. “My horse has always been safe,” she said to the news media. “I’ve known him since I was 17.” There are numerous horses and other #Animals on this property, in rows of stables. Many people board their horses there.

The results of the investigation and charges against Mr. Coto-Martinez

The meat purchased from Mr. Coto-Martinez under cover was thoroughly tested by the USDA, including species testing.

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It was proven to be equine or horsemeat. State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle stated to authorities during the investigation that “The unregulated slaughter of horses and uninspected meat presented a real safety and food issue that puts lives in jeopardy and our community at risk.”

When the horsemeat was purchased, it was not stamped and marked clearly as horsemeat particularly for human consumption because it was not obtained from a licensed slaughterhouse. That is because there are no legally licensed horse slaughterhouses in the USA for human consumption. Mr. Coto-Martinez received three felony charges that include the unlawful sale of horsemeat. If convicted, the man could spend a maximum of five years in prison for each charge. #Horse meat