06. February 2020

Argentina | Santiago Temple, Province of Córdoba | Acopio of Arroyo

Horses kept without food and without any shade from the sun.

An injured horse standing on three legs next to a carcass rotting inside the pen area.

Suffering horses left to fend for themselves.

Severe open wound infested with flies, eggs and maggots.

We drive to the acopio (horse assembly centre) in Santiago Temple, which is vast. We have been here many times before. What we find is always the same. In the middle of the acopio, there is a huge pile of carcasses with hundreds of dead horses.

A storm has passed recently. Trees and branches are lying around. The holding pens and feeding places are muddy. Decomposition fluid will now seep into the soil and groundwater – if this has not happened already. Bales of hay sit on this contaminated ground.

Right next to a hay bale is another carcass. It must have been lying there for a while since the bones are visible. A horse standing on three legs is eating hay from that bale. The right hind hoof has grown backwards, possibly due to a fracture. In another pen, we see a chestnut with a severe open wound on the hind leg, left untreated. One group of horses does not receive food for several days. The horses are already severely emaciated.

Only 100 meters from the pile of carcasses, we find two horses in very poor condition. A small dun horse, emaciated to the bones, and a bay horse with a severe hoof injury. Part of the hoof has rotted away, and the wound is full of flies and maggots. The horse is frequently licking the wound, which is a sign of pain. It is only a question of time before these two horses end up as carcasses on the pile or on a truck to the slaughterhouse.

Together with our Argentinian partner NGO “Santuario Equidad” we filed a criminal complaint for animal cruelty to the public prosecutor's office.