Southwest Ranches to horse killers: Stay away or risk stiff penalties

By Susannah Bryan

Sun Sentinel (Florida)

News of the crime spread quickly through town.

An 8-year-old thoroughbred had been slaughtered, a retired racehorse named Marco.

Investigators with the Broward Sheriff’s Office think someone escorted him from his paddock Aug. 18, then drove him to a secluded spot a half a mile away before butchering him.

“It’s heart-breaking,” said Mayor Jeff Nelson. “This is an equestrian community, and we have an all-out commitment to catch those responsible.”

It’s illegal to buy or sell horse meat in Florida. Violations can bring fines up to $3,500 and at least one year in jail.

But Nelson has proposed a new town law to ensure the stiffest penalties for anyone caught slaughtering a horse in Southwest Ranches. He calls it Marco’s Law.

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