Slaughter farms under scrutiny

Jorge Ortega's slaughter house

Private slaughter houses exist across the country. You can tell by the truckloads of horses and other livestock coming into them and no animals seen around the place in the same numbers. Most local authorities do not have the time nor the money to investigate every operation, so they exist with no regulations. To describe them as offering a low cost service that benefits a community is wrong. The operation described in the article is filthy and trash ridden. These private slaughter houses are purveyors of disease and inhumane treatment of animals. Scrutiny of their services is NOT cultural bias or anti-poor. They must be shut down. ~ HfH

From: The Tampa Tribune
By: Elizabeth Behrman

Jorge Ortega's slaughter house

Jorge Ortega, 27, of Citrus Park, pleaded guilty in May to selling misbranded, uninspected meat and improperly slaughtering swine. Richard Couto

CITRUS PARK — Jorge Ortega ran his slaughterhouse on a vacant lot off Cain Road in Citrus Park, behind a quiet cul-de-sac of $200,000 homes.

The activity did not go unnoticed. An animal-welfare group went undercover to see what he was doing. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office investigated, as did the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Eventually, he was arrested, charged with three violations of the Federal Meat Inspection Act. In May, he pleaded guilty to selling misbranded, uninspected meat and improperly slaughtering swine. He faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison on each charge.

Whether Ortega was running an inhumane, unhealthy livestock-slaughtering operation or simply providing a low-cost service to poor people is up for interpretation, as is the question of how widespread such operations are in Hillsborough County.

Richard Couto, who runs a Miami-based nonprofit called Animal Recovery Mission, said Ortega ran the slaughter farm, called Jorge’s Farm, for months after entering the industry by traveling between other illegal slaughter operations and killing livestock for farmers.

“He was the one guy that really had his hand on the pulse of the illegal slaughter industry in Hillsborough County,” Couto said.

Multiple Hillsborough residents approached Couto in 2011 and asked him to do something about horse slaughters in the Tampa area, he said.

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AUTHOR: Amber Barnes
5 Comments
  • Janet Schultz

    It is a feeling cReeping up on me that one of the reasons for these disconnects between what we see as animal abuse and law enforcement is that the law enforcement does not perceive as we do. I am beginning to see that law enforcement actually does accept animal abuse, except as is visually egregious and easily prosecuted, such as dead animals on the ground. And this includes “animal welfare and animal control oufits.”. Suffering of animals does not register. Law enforcement is simply not the agency capable of enforcing law as the reasonable citizen of the United stAtes has come o expect. Perhaps this is related to the brutality that cops now train themselves to, separation of emotion, capable of beating a person senseless, cutting the throat of a family dog, beating a black woman on the highway, tying a mental patient’s arms behind their back and leavig them, and joinin the rape statistics in jail.

    WHEN we wake up – we will be better prepared.

    July 7, 2014
  • Yvon

    There are no disconnects. Law enforcement and support agencies adhere to policies/ procedures and set established regulations. Laws are not implemented to establish what is right according to public perceptions, such as the blatant inhumane treatment of animals, which also includes many perpetrated by law enforcement itself. The public does not have power to direct law enforcement to stop cruel and inhumane treatment of animals.

    July 7, 2014
  • Daryl

    What do you mean they have no time to look in to these things, this is bull crap, they are to up holed the law and stop these places before some one die. It is so in-humane to the animals that are being killed. Walk up police officers and do you job, shut these places down.

    July 7, 2014
  • Janet Schultz

    Your point of view is ripe for enlightenment. Hopefully, if your are a member of any law enforcement, yu will avail yourself of state or county paid educational courses.

    Laws form te frame of our society. Policy, procedure and regulatins are bastaRd children to the law, meant merely to interpret, implement or make clear a specific law. No one of your internal guidelines mean anything without law. Law enforcement cannot tell the public which laws they will encforce.

    “The public does not have power to direct law enforcement to stop cruel and inhumane treatment of animals.”. WHO DO YOU THINK GIVES YOU LAWS? Ever heard of, for and by the people?

    Every state has cruelty LAWS which any child when reading understands the restraint demanded by the language. It is when law enforcement justifies their lack of allegiance to our peace of mind, their refusal to accept the meaning and intent of the law that lack of enforcement becomes the wall between lawful citizens and our right to a just society.

    And when it is okay to toeture an animal, to any degree, despite clear LAW prohibiting it
    Based on the refusal of law enfrcement empoloyees to gain swift extinguishment of the wrongdoing – the society is compelled to gain proper prospective. It is not the law that is lacking. It is the complicit acceptance of the torture of the animals by criminals within the civil service and the perpetrators. I have zero tolerance.

    July 7, 2014
  • Robynne Catheron

    If it’s illegal to inhumanely kill a horse or sell the meat, then how in the world is Bravo Meat Packing Co. in New Jersey still in operation? Not only does he starve “his” horses for months until they are lean enough for his clients (allegedly Six Flags and local zoos), he also doesn’t kill them quickly or painlessly. He boasts about using the horses for target practice, and undercover investigators found most of the carcasses riddled with bullet holes but none in the skulls. Private investigations have so far been unsuccessful in bringing this evil cretin to justice.

    July 7, 2014