Argentina | Río Cuarto | Slaughterhouse General Pico | Horsemeat import
We return to the slaughterhouse General Pico in the early morning. At 8:30, we observe a group of 15 horses that has just been unloaded being moved into the pen area. We note that at least four horses in this group are injured. Two are seriously injured and should have been euthanized immediately upon arrival at the plant. If they were already injured before loading, they should have been considered unfit for transport. A black horse has a large open wound on the right hind leg and cannot put any weight onto the injured leg. He hobbles on three legs and is obviously in great pain. A dun gelding has a bleeding injury on the left hind leg, which is completely swollen. Again, the horses have no ear tags, what seems to be common in this slaughterhouse.
Throughout the morning, more horses without ear tags are unloaded and moved into the pen area. Several horses are severely lame. Most groups are put into pens without shelter, although several of the partly covered pens are still empty. By noon, the temperature has climbed up to 33°C.
The whole pen area is extremely muddy and covered in manure. The horses sink deep into the mud up to the fetlock. Walking appears to be difficult. We observe several horses standing in an empty feed trough, likely looking for solid ground. In most pens, a hay bale is carelessly dropped onto the filthy floor, instead of being spread out in the long feed troughs, which would allow more horses to access the food. One feeding place is not enough for the number of horses and it is clear that only the dominant ones can eat, while the weak and submissive ones are fought off and thus remain hungry.
At 15:00 we observe that the black horse with the severely injured hind leg, that was unloaded at 8:30 this morning, is now lying in the mud beside a hay bale. A bird of prey is pecking flesh from the large open wound. The gelding is too weak to defend himself.