31August2019

Argentina | Province of Buenos Aires | Illegal trade with horses

Our team is helping the police to save the dying horses of Onorato.

For 25 horses, any help is too late. They have died of hunger or thirst.

On 13 August, we are informed that a truck with horses has been confiscated by the police on the way to the EU-approved slaughterhouse Infriba in Mar del Plata. Our team travels to Argentina to investigate and document this case. Out of the 32 horses on board the truck, at least eight are stolen. As the police has no place for the horses, they are now at the slaughterhouse Infriba, many still waiting for their owners. One horse has died in the slaughterhouse pens.

While our team is in Argentina, we learn about another case of illegal trade of horses. More than 400 malnourished horses have been discovered on a field near Buenos Aires, 25 of them are dead, four are dying. These horses belong to a dealer named Raul Onorato, the father-in-law of Hernan Arbeo who delivered the stolen horses to the Infriba plant. Onorato has a long history of dealing with stolen horses and is currently under house arrest. However, his son and son-in-law continue to deliver horses to EU-approved slaughterhouses, including Lamar.

On 22 August, the police confiscates the 400 horses. Our team and local NGOs try to save the dying horses and bring food and water for the surviving ones. One horse is identified as stolen. Since then, the horses are shut off from the public. Many horse owners want to check if their stolen horses are there, but are not allowed in. They are still waiting for the permission from the judge. The horses are in very bad condition and every day, more animals die.

We will inform the EU Commission about these cases, which show a complete lack of traceability and severe animal cruelty, and will continue to follow them closely.

Watch our short film on YouTube.