09. April 2023

Investigation in Canada: Horse feedlot of the Bouvry slaughterhouse

No protection from the elements.

Severely overweight horses & muddy ground.

Severely lame mare with overlong hooves.

Neglected hooves cause pain.

Severe open wound left untreated.

We have been observing the feedlot of the Bouvry slaughterhouse in Alberta regularly since 2012. Here, horses are fattened for six months before slaughter. At each inspection, we have found serious animal welfare violations. In April 2023, we are again on-site, together with our US partner Animals’ Angels, in order to verify if the situation for the horses has improved.

The only change we see is that there are far less horses than in the past. A lot of pens are empty, but others are overcrowded. We document the usual animal welfare problems: lack of weather protection, muddy ground, overfeeding and severely overweight horses, lack of hoof care, no medical assistance for injured and sick horses. Among others, we see several horses that obviously suffer from laminitis, an extremely painful hoof disease. They should urgently receive medical treatment. For animal welfare reasons alone, anti-inflammatory painkillers such as phenylbutazone should always be used when horses suffer from laminitis. However, phenylbutazone is prohibited to be used in horses destined for slaughter. They are left to suffer.

As with each inspection, we once again find dead horses in the feedlot. We also see newborn foals. One of them shows no sign of life.

We will report our observations to the European Commission and urge them to stop the import of horsemeat from cruel production.