Argentina | Mercedes | Slaughterhouse Lamar | Horsemeat import
When we arrive at the Lamar slaughterhouse at 9:30, we immediately realize that most horses have been slaughtered during the night or in the early morning. Slaughtering is still going on. Employees are observed moving horses from the pens in the lairage area to the entrance of the stunning chute. They hit the horses on their head in order to force them into the stunning chute. The concrete floor is slippery and several horses fall down.
It is a hot day with temperatures reaching 31°C. In the lairage area, the horses next up for slaughter are kept in a pen without shade, while all the pens under the roof are empty. In the large paddocks, among the horses that are not slaughtered today, we spot again two seriously injured horses from yesterday. It is totally unacceptable that these horses are left unattended in the paddocks for several days, prolonging their suffering unnecessarily. We detect a white gelding that has a huge bleeding lump on the right hind leg and is not able to bear any weight on this leg. This horse as well should never have been transported to the slaughterhouse and at the very least should have been euthanized immediately upon arrival at the plant.
In a small pen without shelter, we detect a very young foal. The new-born animal has no straw to lie down on and is exposed to the blazing sun. At noon, a new group of approximately 30 horses is moved into the pen area. Although there are many empty pens available, they are put all together in the same small pen and are very crowded. It does not take long until the horses begin to fight for a ranking order. Two dominant horses are observed fiercely and repeatedly kicking the other animals in their group. Such fights cause unnecessary stress and injuries. In the same pen, we observe a weak horse that is severely emaciated and should not have been considered fit for transport.