Argentina | Mercedes | Slaughterhouse Lamar | Horsemeat import
When we arrive at the Lamar slaughterhouse at 17:00, an employee is busy hosing down horses with water in the lairage area. It is a different employee than the one we observed last time and he sprays the horses even more on the head and in the face than the other employee. The horses are very nervous, some look frightened. There is a lot of agitation in the small and overcrowded pens and biting can be observed frequently. We detect a horse with a bleeding head injury, likely sustained during transport. A gelding is separated from his group and moved into another pen. Another horse in his group tries to follow him and is hit on the head. In one pen, there are two horses without slaughter ear tags. We cannot help wondering if they might have been stolen, explaining the lack of ear tag. However, it is important to note that many stolen horses also get into the slaughter circuit with falsified documents and ear tags.
A group of horses is moved from one pen to another, where they are mixed with another group and very crowded. There are still many empty pens in the lairage area, so there was no need to pack the horses so tightly together. Re-grouping is always stressful for horses. Soon, the animals start biting each other. Later we observe that more horses are re-grouped.