Officials are searching for the killer, or killers, of a 1,300 pound horse named Phedras de Blondel, who was slaughtered on a farm in Palmetto, Florida. The horse was a 12-year old prize show jumping horse, believed to be killed for his meat.
Phedras de Blondel had been led from his stall between 8:30 pm on October 24 and 6:45 am on October 25 and then taken to the back of the farm where he was “expertly butchered." It is believed to be the work of a professional. “The slices were so deliberate and so well done that the moment you saw it; this was a professional.” said Ms. Stephens, the horse’s owner. Ms. Stephens thinks that the killers did not target Phedras de Blondel, and they chose him based on his size and meat. It is also thought that this is the work of more than one killer, since the horse was so large.
Ms. Stephens is reinforcing security at her ranch to protect her other horses. She is also raising money for a reward, as well as money being raised for awareness about killing for horse meat. There is a $30,000 reward being offered for any valuable information that could lead to the arrest of his killer, or killers.
Although horse meat is illegal in Florida, there are black markets for it. In the black markets, the meat can cost anywhere from $10 to $20 a pound. Horse meat is a common food in places such as China, Mexico, Switzerland, Kazakhstan, Belgium, and Indonesia, however, in America, a 2012 poll by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals found that 80% of Americans were against slaughtering horses for food. This isn't the first time that horses have been killed in Florida for their meat either. It is important to raise awareness for this cause since it could happen to anyone's horse.
The Guardian, Oct 26, 2015
New York Times, Oct 27, 2015
Slate, Oct 27, 2015