Uruguay | Cerro Largo | Waldweiden | Blutfarmen zur Hormongewinnung
At 14:00 we drive to the forest pastures where the blood farmer keeps mares according to his neighbour. Just a few kilometres before arriving at the place, three gauchos and a herd of about 200 horses cross our way. As we find out later, these are blood mares that are taken from a forest pasture to the blood farm. We follow them for a while and document their condition. Many are thin with ribs clearly showing and some are emaciated. Several are observed limping. The mares’ hooves are strongly neglected, overgrown or with cracks. At least four horses are severely lame and obviously experiencing pain when running. It is totally unacceptable that they have to run 40 km in this condition. The mares are young, likely three or four years old, but they already look worn-out and old.
Later, we talk to Andres Videla (name changed) who lives close to the forest pastures. He tells us that today at noon a large herd of horses passed by and is moved to the blood farm. According to Andres, the journey takes one day. He says that the mares are used for blood collection and kept on several pastures in this area. There are about 500 mares on fields and in forest plantations in total. They are constantly moved back and forth. Andres further tells us that another farm where they work with mares is called San Miguel. There, they also keep stallions to cover the mares. They start covering the mares in September (spring).
After the conversation, we decide to inspect the forest pastures on the next day and now drive back to the blood farm, hoping to see the arrival of the group of mares. We wait near the blood farm until it gets dark, but do not see the horses arrive.