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Posted on Sunday, Dec. 20, 2009
Dade horse killings bring more attention to illegal slaughterhouses
By CURTIS MORGAN AND JUAN CARLOS CHAVEZ
For 20 years, Tony Maqueira has routinely trucked pigs down from upstate to sell in rural Northwest Miami-Dade. With demand for a Nochebuena roast pig at its peak last week, he simply parked his squealing load along West Okeechobee Road and waited for customers from nearby small farms to come to him.
Asked if buyers are licensed to kill and sell pigs, Maqueira, an impeccably polite man wearing the straw hat and rubber boots of a working rancher, appeared momentarily puzzled. Then he shrugged and explained there were worse things to worry about in these unpaved, impoverished outskirts: cockfights, dogfights, guns, drugs.
“This is food,” he said. “This is good for the people.”