Sheriff says horses are being slaughtered for their meat in Florida

Cases investigated in Sumter, Marion, Manatee counties

A Central Florida family said that they are devastated after their family horse was found dead Wednesday morning in Sumter County.

SUMTERVILLE, Fla. – A day after a Central Florida family’s horse was slaughtered for its meat, sheriff’s officials issued a warning to other horse owners saying similar incidents are on the rise across the state.

Tamara Weaver, of Sumterville, said her 10-year-old horse, Jayda, was found dead Wednesday morning across the street from where she was boarded. Weaver said the fence had been cut and evidence at the scene suggested that whoever was responsible was seeking the horse’s meat.

The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday posted a warning to horse owners on its Facebook page.

“We are currently investigating an animal cruelty case that involved a horse being stolen and harvested for meat, from the Sumterville area,” the post said. “Although this is the only incident in Sumter County, through the investigation we have learned it is on the rise throughout the state.”

The Sheriff’s Office said it will place extra patrols on properties that house livestock. To have your property added to the list please, contact analyst Billy Bowles at 352-569-1695.

Anyone with information about the Sumter County horse slaughtering is asked to call the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office at 352-793-2621 or Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS.

Horse found dead in Marion County

A couple of weeks ago, News 6 spoke with a family in Marion County after their horse was found dead. The family believes their horse was also slaughtered for its meat.

It’s not known if the cases are related.

Weaver said that she hopes no other horses are harmed.

“I want them to find these people that are doing this so that no one else feels this pain, you know, because it’s not just a horse, it’s a member of our family,” Weaver said.

Horse slaughtered in Manatee County

Meanwhile, a third horse death was reported Dec. 1 in Manatee County.

The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office said earlier this week that three rewards totaling $13,000 are being offered in the slaughtering case.

The Sheriff’s Office posted video (see below) of a van wanted in connection with the Manatee County case.

Anyone with information about the man is asked to call 941-747-3011.

About the Author:

Daniel started with WKMG-TV in 2000 and became the digital content manager in 2009. When he's not working on, Daniel likes to head to the beach or find a sporting event nearby.