Decapitated goat, chickens wash up on Miami beach

Published On: Jan 07 2013 11:02:40 AM EST
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. -

A decapitated goat and three chickens that experts say was likely sacrificed in a religious ritual have washed up on a Miami beach.

Richard Couto, founder of the Animal Recovery Mission, hauled the animals out of the water Sunday and waited for the sanitation department to remove them.

Couto said the animals appeared to have been killed as part of a Santeria or Palo Mayombe rite. Religious animal sacrifice is legal, but Couto said it's illegal to abuse the animals before they die. He said they are sometimes hog-tied or kept in plastic bags or sweltering pens before being sacrificed.

The Miami Herald reports the dead animals were found blocks from a section of South Beach that was roped off for visiting Alabama and Notre Dame fans.

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