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Police suspect horses killed for meat

July 29, 2009 at 11:20 AM

MIAMI, July 29 (UPI) -- Police say the killings of 17 horses in Miami-Dade County, Fla., likely involved individuals killing the animals for their meat.

Capt. Scott Andress, Agricultural Patrol Section commander for the Miami-Dade County police department, said many of the 17 horse carcasses found in the county since January showed signs that meat was removed from their bodies, The Miami Herald said Wednesday.

"The majority of the found carcasses exhibit signs that the horses were butchered and meat removed," Andress said.

Andress added police were attempting to confirm anecdotal evidence that a black market exists for horse meat.

The agricultural patrol official would not offer specifics regarding the current police theories on the killings, but did call for support from the community in regards to such criminal acts.

"What we need is assistance from the community in contacting police if they see things suspicious,'' Andress told the Herald. "These areas are rural, they're somewhat remote. It's not impossible, but it is a little more difficult to develop eyewitness leads."

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