ARM’s founder created the organization soon after the rescue of Freedoms Flight, where he was made aware of the sweeping epidemic of illegal animal slaughter farms in South Florida. Until the fateful day when Richard ‘Kudo’ Couto realized the existence and degree of animal abuse on these farms, he, like many, was utterly oblivious that such barbaric backyard operations were imaginable his city. After witnessing this disgrace, he made it his life’s mission to bring awareness to the public and has since succeeded in working to wipe their existence out altogether.
ARM, at this time, has multiple investigations underway and is working towards making a powerful impact in breaking down these businesses and the animal abuse that is occurring on the daily.
A breakdown of the government in the State of Florida contributed to the growth of illegal slaughter farms. Illegal slaughter practices date back to the last 40 years, and the lack of enforcement has allowed these businesses to escalate.
Many of these properties are only 20 minutes from the glitz and glamor of South Beach, major cities, and amongst residential areas. ARM estimates that there are close to 1,000 illegal animal slaughter farms throughout the rural areas of Florida.
The largest concentration of illegal slaughter farms is in Miami’s outskirts (known as the C-9 Basin, Area 97, and Homestead) Tampa.
In Florida, the farms are well run business advertising openly on roadsides and Highways, and they cater to anyone with interest in purchasing an animal and a dollar in their pocket. The animals that temporarily live on the farms, while awaiting their agonizing deaths, are subjected to impoverished conditions, misery, hunger, fear pain, and suffering. Animals held captive, like a death row prisoners, live in cages that barely allow them enough room to move around or are thrown into overcrowded pens with little or no shelter. If the animals eat, it is the remnants of rotting garbage or the slaughtered carcass of a friend.
The animals’ slaughter happens in various medieval ways, from strangulation to being beaten with sledgehammers, axes, burned alive with flamethrowers and boiled alive. The butchering of most animals occurs while the animal is still alive.
It is not only livestock that ends up on these houses of horror, wild horses that have been rounded up by the Department of the Interior’s BLM, and even stolen pet horses appear on the properties. Farm owners also have connections at nearby thoroughbred race tracks, and many sick, injured and underperforming racehorses end up meeting their deaths on these farms.
These profit-driven businesses are slaughtering every animal that they can make a dollar on, including goats, chickens, sheep, birds, lamas, cows, rabbits, and pigs. There are also puppy mills and kitten breeding areas on the farms. Generally, these puppies and kittens are bred purely for religious sacrifice. Animal fighting rings, animals for religious sacrifice, and the black market horse meat trade also happen. ARM’s investigators have recently discovered protected and endangered red feather tailed hawks being bludgeoned to the head and stored in freezers. It is a felony even to hold one of these birds’ sacred feathers.
Aside from the apparent cruelty, These farms are also creating hazards to the public. As the farms are not monitored or inspected by USDA officials, and since almost always the animals butchered have diseases and drugs, human consumption can cause food poisoning.
Much of the meat is entering small restaurants, and consumers are often unaware that the meat they are eating is tainted. Restaurant owners buy the meat from these farms as a cheaper alternative to make a more substantial profit.
Associations with prisons are also currently investigated.
The blood from the excessive slaughtering of animals is collected in unlined pools, dumped in reservoirs, and poured into ground wells, contaminating public waters.
Environmentally, illegal slaughter farms are also wreaking havoc, with many of them located on the wetlands and buffer zones of the protected Florida Everglades.
The wetlands where some of the properties have been operating are filled daily with dirt, land rock, tires, cement, and garbage to create dry build-able areas.
Child protection is nonexistent on many of these properties. Slaughter farms have numerous weapons and knives, and all have guns on the premises. ARM
Investigators have witnessed animals tortured, shot, and killed while children play within the animal slaughters’ feet. Some of these illegal slaughter operations are taking place within yards of public school systems.
The farms are connected and controlled by a large Mafia operating a black market for meat. This industry is one of the most significant animal cruelty cases in the history of the United States. They violate a bevy of laws such as Animal Cruelty, slaughtering without a license, slaughtering registered breeds (Horses), sanitary nuisance, environmental codes, and zoning codes, amongst other things.
ARM dedicates itself to closing the illegal animal slaughter farm industry in Florida.