On December 23rd, 2021, and January 14th, 2022, Animal Recovery Mission (ARM) investigators entered a USDA-certified animal slaughterhouse in Moore Haven, Florida, and obtained evidence of animals being inhumanely handled and slaughtered in gross violation of the Humane Slaughter Act of the United States.
Animals observed and documented onsite include cattle, horses, sheep, goats, pigs, ducks, and chickens, all contained on the property to be butchered and sold for human consumption.
The property and business are owned and operated by a husband and wife team, Daniel Alberto Garcia and Rosialba Garcia.
This operation is managed under two separate business titles. They are as follows:
- Gray’s and Danny’s Slaughterhouse (Sunbiz # P064069901)– sells ‘live’ animals for human consumption.
- Okeechobee Farms – ‘contracted’ by Gray’s and Danny’s slaughterhouse to butcher and clean the meat of live animals for their customers.
Okeechobee Farms has a website that sells meat and products promoted as animals raised and grass-fed. www.okeechobeefarms.com. Products are bought and sold throughout the United States. Okeechobee Farms is not a registered business with any government department in Florida or the United States.
Both businesses are not only operating in gross violation of USDA guidelines and the Humane Slaughter Act but they are also engaged in an extensive list of criminal activity, false advertising, environmental violations, and animal cruelty crimes.
These include, but are not limited to:
- Animals are not stunned by an appropriate device or rendered unconscious and insensible to pain, prior to the slaughter process, per the Humane Slaughter Act.
- Animals are inhumanely handled, dragged, and butchered in front of other animals.
- Instead, animals are conscious and aware as they are hoisted, skinned, and butchered.
- Goats and Sheep are stabbed repeatedly in the throat with knives, tendons are slashed, and their skin is peeled back while they are screaming and thrusting showing obvious signs of life.
- Animals live in deplorable conditions.
- Animals are in poor health and suffering from untreated injuries, wounds, and infectious illnesses.
- Animal carcasses are dumped at the back of the property as vultures feed and possibly spread infectious diseases to surrounding areas.
- Sale of unadulterated meat, butchered in unsanitary, open-air conditions allowing the meat to be exposed to flies and other insects.
- False advertising/misleading to the public.
- Inhumane transport of animals.
- Inhumane restraint and shackling of animals.
- Meats sold without a known destination.
Many of the crimes documented above were executed in the presence of minors.
In addition to the above violations, ARM observed dairy calves and cows being procured from local dairy farms to be sold and butchered for human consumption. These animals were treated with antibiotics and are not free-range humanely raised grass-fed cattle, as stated by Okeechobee Farms.
During ARM’s investigation, on January 14th, 2022, a USDA agent (FSIS Division – Food Safety Inspection Services) was documented conducting an on-site inspection. In the agent’s presence animals were skinned and butchered alive during this visit. No action was taken nor did the FSIS agent interject on animals being inhumanely dismembered.
The USDA Inspector told the ARM Operative that the slaughterhouse “does a real good job…a REAL good job” caring for the animals and the slaughter process. This is a contradiction of Gray’s and Danny’s Slaughterhouse history with their operations being suspended for multiple violations since 2015.
ARM also obtained information that these businesses are tied into the Miami-Dade slaughter farm networks and are engaging in the illegal slaughtering of horses for human consumption.
Meat from this business is marketed to Miami, Palm Beach, Fort Meyers, and throughout the state of Florida for human consumption.
During this investigation, ARM witnessed and documented untrained butchers employed at Gray’s and Danny’s Slaughterhouse and Okeechobee Farms. They expressed no care towards the animals and are more concerned with catching and processing animals as quickly as possible to get to the next customer. This is resulting in inhumane handling, excessive force, and inexperienced slaughter techniques that are causing unconscionable pain and suffering to the animals being butchered.
This is a gross violation of the USDA guidelines of the Humane Slaughter ACT of the United States.
On several occasions, ARM operatives were offered employment to butcher animals on the spot, without any requirement of experience from the management of both businesses.
The owner, Daniel Alberto Garcia, was present during all killings of the animals during ARM’s visits. All employee actions towards the animals were ordered and overseen by the owner. The owner himself tied and shackled animals illegally for transport.
ARM witnessed and documented 18 felony acts of animal cruelty resulting in death and 17 counts of selling unadulterated meat to consumers.
Complaints have been reported for years of the inhuman nature of this slaughterhouse. Only minor suspensions of daily operations have been taken by government agencies on this business.
ARM filed a detailed report of its findings to the USDA’s FSIS and the Glades County Sheriff’s Office, requesting that the owners be arrested, the slaughterhouse closed down, and all licenses pulled by county, state, and federal agencies. Under the state of Florida statutes, any and all animals living in such conditions must be rescued and brought to safety.