One man is going undercover to rescue horses from an illegal meat trade in South Florida

A West Palm Beach, Florida man is rescuing horses from the illegal meat trade. Richard Couto, 50, stages undercover operations and has a 100-acre sanctuary of cows, horses, and pigs all rescued from slaughter. As David Gauvey Herbert explained in a Bloomberg profile of Couto and his team of four investigators/animal lovers, horse meat is considered a delicacy in many countries. But in 2007, Congress stopped funding plant inspections, essentially banning horse meat. Since then, South Florida has become a hub for the black-market meat trade, where butchers can sell a pound starting at $7; the price increases depending on whether the meat came from a racehorse or not. The article introduces Couto as he was conducting an 18-month undercover operation at a notorious illegal slaughterhouse, recording video evidence and making meat buys. But one problem: He needed police cooperation. And, let’s just say, the horse rescuer has a penchant for snooping, weapons, and a messy relationship with local law enforcement.

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