By Joan Murray

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Animal Recovery Mission has made some very serious allegations after they conducted an undercover investigation at a slaughterhouse near Hialeah Gardens.

The group’s operative was hired as a meat processor at Mary’s Ranch Matador Cabreras, at 16301 NW 122nd Avenue. The facility, which is the only USDA federal slaughter operation in South Florida, is owned and operated by Rodolfo Cabrera. It’s been in business for more than 43 years.

USDA appointed inspectors and federal veterinarians are stationed on-site to oversee and regulate the treatment of the animals.

ARM said their investigation revealed several felony violations involving animal abuse, torture, and inhumane handling of animals.

“Crimes against these innocent animals have been happening for decades at this house of horrors with knowledge of USDA Inspectors and Law Enforcement alike,” said ARM founder Richard Couto.

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Among the violations, the ARM investigation reportedly found were workers killing cows with captive bolt guns who were improperly trained which caused drawn-out deaths. ARM said they documented cases where it took seven or eight tries to knock the animal down, which they claim is a federal criminal act.

ARM said they documented workers taking customers onto the floors and handing them loaded bolt guns to take part in the killing process. With little to no experience, the animals suffered immensely, according to the group.

They also claim that pigs were not stunned before their deaths, in accordance with the USDA Humane Slaughter ACT. They added that “inadequate voltages were used to electrocute the animals” and some were “stabbed and thrown into vats of boiling water while alive and conscious,” according to a release.

ARM claims their operative did not see any USDA inspectors or veterinarians intervene during these alleged violations.

The Florida Highway Patrol provides off-duty security at the facility. CBS4 spoke to someone with the FHP who said they went in and asked but the owner did not want to comment on the allegations made by ARM.