19. December 2016

Argentina | Mercedes | Slaughterhouse Lamar | Horsemeat import

[Translate to English:] Ein abgemagertes, geschwächtes Pferd liegt auf dem staubigen Boden.

[Translate to English:] Eine dünne trächtige Stute steht in der prallen Sonne.

[Translate to English:] Eine verletzte Stute hält ihr schmerzendes Hinterbein hoch.

[Translate to English:] Ein Pferd beisst ein anderes. Keine Rückzugsmöglichkeiten für schwächere Pferde.

[Translate to English:] Ein Mitarbeiter prügelt auf verängstige Pferde ein, deren Weg versperrt ist.

We arrive at the slaughterhouse Lamar in the early afternoon. It is a very hot day with temperatures climbing up to 30°C. We are surprised to see that the large paddocks behind the buildings, which were empty and completely overgrown with plants on our last visit in April 2015, are now full of horses. There are approximately 300 horses. Like in the years before and despite our numerous complaints, the large paddocks still offer no shelter from sun and rain. Many horses are in a deplorable condition: injured, lame, weak, sick, very thin or severely emaciated. Several animals have serious leg injuries and can only bear weight on three legs. They are unfit for transport according to EU standards and should never have been transported to the slaughterhouse in the first place. Or, if the injury happened during transport, they should have been emergency killed on the spot right upon arrival. We also see several mares that appear to be pregnant. In most of the paddocks, there is no feed available. Hungry horses are observed searching the dirt floor for something to eat.  

In the lairage, there are several groups of horses in small and overcrowded pens. Biting can be observed frequently. Weak and submissive animals have no possibility of retreating. The horses are hosed down with water by an employee. Several are sprayed on their heads, what intensifies their fear. Another employee is observed moving a group of horses from the paddocks over to the lairage. The procedure is very chaotic. When the first horses in the group stand still in the alley, he keeps hitting the last ones and shouting loudly, even though they cannot move forward because their way is blocked. A frightened horse jumps onto the others in a desperate attempt to get away from the blows.