August 29th, 2014 (InsideCostaRica.com) A total of 62 starving horses and four mules that were discovered on a farm in San Carlos which were illegally smuggled from Nicaragua had to be euthanized due to their extremely poor health, according to a National Animal Health Service (SENASA) official.
The official said that tests would be performed to determine if the animals’ meat is suitable for human consumption.
In addition to severe malnutrition, the horses were also suffering from numerous wounds, were infested with ticks and suffered other health problems.
A man by the last name of Artavia was arrested in the case.
Nicaragua has been suffering from record drought this year. Costa Rica’s National Animal Health Service (SENASA) reported last week that hundreds of cattle were being illegally smuggled each week from Nicaragua to Costa Rica. The trend is believed to be associated with the record drought affecting that country.
This year’s record drought has killed thousands of cattle and dried up crops throughout Central America. In northern Nicaragua, vultures can be seen eating the carcasses of cows that are dropping dead in dried out pastures.
The lack of rain has been blamed on the probable arrival of the El Niño weather phenomenon, which is characterized by unusually warm Pacific Ocean temperatures that can trigger droughts.
Nicaragua’s government says the country is enduring its worst drought since 1976, which has also ravaged the country’s first harvest.