Argentina | Province of Buenos Aires | Blood farm “Syntex SA” | Blood extraction
From 8:15 until 10:30, more than 200 pregnant mares go through the blood extraction procedure. They are moved through the raceways and into the restraint boxes by brute force. The mares are hit with iron hooks, including on their heads, and poked in sensitive body parts. Wooden sticks are also used. Once they are inside the restraint box, the entrance is closed with just one iron bar, which poses a high risk of injuries. A halter is slipped over the horses’ heads and they are forcibly tied to the sidewall. The animals are very frightened of the employees and some show complete panic, their whole body trembling. Placing the blood-letting cannulas triggers anxiety and pain responses. A mare fights so much that the sidewall of the restraint box comes loose. It takes up to three minutes until the cannula is inserted. Blood is taken for 8 to 12 minutes per mare, and even injured animals are processed despite obvious and severe pain. Several horses are lame, one hobbles through the alley on three legs. When the mares are released from the blood extraction boxes, some run away in full gallop. Others stagger out of the box and have problems keeping their balance, which could be due to the amount of blood taken.