09. February 2020

Argentina | Venado Tuerto, province of Santa Fe | Acopio

Barbed wire can cause such serious injuries.

The leg is heavily swollen and the mare cannot bear any weight on it.

Due to the lack of treatment, prolonged pain has been inflicted to the animal.

There are hundreds of horse assembly centres in Argentina, so-called acopios. Most are unknown to the European auditors. The Argentinian authorities select assembly centres for audits. Usually, they pick model farms. So, we decide to visit assembly centres that are hidden from inspection.

We pay a visit to the acopio outside the town of Venado Tuerto, where in December 2018 we found seriously neglected horses as well as dead animals. Nothing has changed since our last visit. The weather protection from trees is insufficient. The fence is partly made of barbed wire, which poses a significant risk of injury. We see severely lame and injured horses that remain without veterinary attention.

An emaciated albino mare is standing apart from the group, not eating. As we approach the mare to check her condition, we see that her right hind leg is seriously injured. It is very likely that the injury has been caused by barbed wire. There are several deep wounds around the fetlock. Blood and wound fluid are dripping down the hoof. Fly eggs are visible and it must be expected that the wound is already infested with maggots. The mare is standing on three legs, holding the injured leg up. The swelling is extreme and expands from the hoof up to the hock. This mare urgently needs medical assistance, and in case the injury cannot be treated, she has to be released from her suffering by euthanasia.