Uruguay | Totoral del Sauce | Slaughterhouse Clay | horsemeat import
We arrive at the Clay slaughterhouse at 9:00. Not far from the slaughter plant, thereis Clay’s collecting station for slaughter horses. We note that some of the pensoffer no shelter at all. Other pens have a worn shelter made of wooden posts with some black fabric as roof. The fabric has fallen off in most areas, leaving the majority of the animals without protection from sun and rain. We observe that some horses have no ear tags, although they should get an ear tag upon arrival at the collecting station. As they have no ear tags, it is highly questionable if they have the necessary documents, which have to include the ear tag number. We detect a gelding without ear tag that is emaciated and in a bad condition. He appears very weak and the way he walks indicates that he is in pain. We also notice several thin horses with hip bones and ribs clearly visible.
At 14:00, a horse transporter arrives at the slaughterhouse and backs up to unloading ramp. The vehicle looks old and dilapidated. The temperature is over 30°C, but the open-roof trailer offers no protection from the blazing sun. The loading conditions are crowded. We do not see any ear tags attached to the horses. It is therefore questionable why the horses are unloaded at the slaughterhouse and not at the collecting station, where there is also an unloading ramp. In Uruguay, only horses with ear tags can be legally slaughtered.