Operation Gaff Hook

Throughout a seven-month-long investigation, the Animal Recovery Mission entered into the farm titled ‘GaffHook’ due to the use of these fishing instruments, to drag the animals while still alive. Upon each visit, ARM investigators documented and collected video and audio footage of cruel and inhumane acts against animals carried out by the farm owner and operators. Evidence gathered throughout ARM’s investigation proved that these acts were taking place regularly on this illegal slaughter farm.

The illegal slaughter farm, owned and operated by a Cuban male named Angel Ricardo Vargas, also known as Ricardo. Ricardo ran the illegal business, killing pigs, wild hogs, chickens, ducks, and turkeys, right in own his backyard. Ricardo and his family all lived on the property, with the slaughter area just a mere 400ft from Ricardo’s house.

Animals on site that were tortured, deprived, and killed violently included pigs, hens, roosters, guinea fowl, ducks, turtles, pigeons, turkeys. Animals on site were slaughtered and sold to the public for human consumption, or sold for Santaria and black magic purposes.

The shocking footage gathered while this illegal slaughter farm was on a smaller scale of operation, the killings themselves were barbaric with never before seen methods and instruments. Gaff hooks, which are very sharp hooks connected to a 5-foot metal pole, were inserted into the pig’s jaws. The hooks were so large that they would tear through to the outside of the animal’s face. The pig was then dragged by the pole, for 75 feet to the butcher area, while still alive, it’s entire body weight was burdened on its mouth. Animals dumped into boiling water tubs, where they would drown and burn to a quelling death. Chickens killed in brutal ways by stretching the animal’s neck and one by one, breaking their bones, killing them slowly.

ARM suspects a connection between operation ‘Gaff Hook’ and the black market horse meat trade that is prevalent throughout Miami and Florida.

A strike force was put together with law enforcement, the Miami Dade State Attorney’s office, USDA, and a compilation of official agencies led by ARM once ARM’s investigations were conclusive and concrete.

Ricardo’s illegal operation was raided and arrested on December 17th, 2015, at dawn.