15. February 2019

Canada | Alberta | Prime Feedlot

At the Prime Feedlot, horses are fattened in crowded pens without shelter.

Even the foals are exposed to heavy snowfall.

A sick or injured horse is unable to stand up.

An emaciated gelding has severe diarrhoea.

The same sick gelding has heavy nasal discharge.

Our team inspects the Prime Feedlot of the Bouvry slaughterhouse, where thousands of horses are fattened for six months. We want to see if any improvements have been made since our last investigation in 2015. We find that this is not the case. The horses still have no weather protection. They are kept out in the open, with temperatures as cold as -33°C. Even foals are not provided any shelter from the snow or the cold. The ground of the pens is covered with frozen manure and stones. The little straw bedding available is completely wet.

We are appalled to see that injured and sick horses still do not receive veterinary care. Several animals are lame and some have severe diarrhoea. The horses are frequently heard sneezing and coughing. We find a severely emaciated gelding who is in a particularly poor condition. Frozen diarrhoea is matted into his tail and a thick discharge is running from his nose. This animal should have been separated from the others to receive veterinary treatment or emergency killed. In a holding pen with several pregnant mares, we detect the small carcass of a dead foal. In such cold winter weather, foals freeze to death at birth.

We are going to send our investigation report to the EU-Commission and will call for an import ban on horsemeat from torturous production in North America.