Investigations by Topics:

03. March 2020

Australia | Caboolture, Queensland | Horsemeat imports: Interview with Elio Celotto

Our team is talking to Elio Celotto, Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses (CPR), at the entrance of the Meramist slaughterhouse.

Today our team meets Elio Celotto at the entrance of the Meramist abattoir. He is the director of the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses (CPR).

We ask Elio about the traceability system for horses in Australia. Elio explains that the only traceable horses are thoroughbred racehorses. Their traceability, however, is only guaranteed from the…

03. March 2020

Australia | Caboolture, Queensland | Horsemeat imports: Meramist abattoir

A sick horse that is unable to walk without kicking his hind legs should have been deemed unfit for transport.

It is our second investigation day at Meramist abattoir. When our team arrives at 6:45 a.m., a truck with horses is already waiting at the unloading ramp. It belongs to kill buyer Les Evans. A leather whip is used to unload the horses. We detect a sick white gelding that cannot walk normally. He should have been deemed unfit for transport according…

02. March 2020

Australia | Caboolture, Queensland | Horsemeat imports: Meramist abattoir

Stressed horses are biting each other inside the trailer.

We observe the Meramist abattoir on the day before the horses are slaughtered. Throughout the day, horses are being delivered. They are crammed together in open cattle trucks, which are inappropriate for the transport of horses. They are stressed, and therefore frequently biting each other. The unloading process at Meramist abattoir is…

02. March 2020

Australia | Burpengary, Queensland | Horse assembly centre of Brian Munro

Our team observes a severely emaciated horse at Munro’s assembly centre..

Kill buyer Brian Munro is the biggest supplier of horses to the Meramist abattoir from Queensland. When we arrive at his assembly centre at 9 a.m., a truck is already parked at the loading ramp. The workers are busy rounding up horses in a paddock behind the buildings. Once the horses are in the pen area, we observe that the workers separate the…

01. March 2020

Australia | Manilla, New South Wales | Horse assembly centre of Les Evans

A trotter with a serious head injury exposing the bone (photo: confidential source).

Today, our team is investigating the assembly centre of kill buyer Les Evans. He is one of the major suppliers of horses to the Meramist abattoir. From the road, we see about 20 horses with slaughter tags in a green paddock in front of the farmhouse. However, the main part of the assembly centre for “slaughter” horses is about 800 meters south of…

28. February 2020

Australia | Echuca, Victoria | Horse auction

The auctioneer, accompanied by several people, walks on a bridge above the horses.

The horse auction in Echuca is where kill buyers purchase their horses. Kill buyer Peter Loffel, whose assembly centres we have been observing in the previous days, also buys horses at this auction. Equipped with hidden cameras, we are going to the auction as a team of three. The auctioneer moves from pen to pen above the horses. His roaring voice…

24. February 2020

Australia | Mooroopna, Victoria | Horse assembly centres of Peter Loffel

An emaciated thoroughbred mare, discarded by the racing industry at Loffel’s assembly centre.

Our team is investigating two assembly centres in Mooroopna, Victoria. They belong to kill buyer Peter Loffel. The first one is located next to a main road and is visible to the public, while the second assembly centre is well hidden in the forest. Peter Loffel has been supplying Meramist abattoir for many years. The abattoir is over 1,500 km away…

24. February 2020

Australia | Victoria | Horsemeat imports: Interview with informant Kim

The label of phenylbutazone states: “Not to be used in horses intended for human consumption.”

We meet up with informant Kim. She wants to remain anonymous. Her name has been changed. Kim has been investigating the fate of retired racing horses for a long time.

We talk to Kim about traceability and food safety issues. She explains that the owner has to fill out a horse vendor declaration stating any medical treatments the horse has…

11. February 2020

Argentina | Mercedes, province of Buenos Aires | Slaughterhouse Lamar

A new tarpaulin has recently been erected for visual protection.

We observe the Lamar slaughterhouse on two consecutive days. It is very hot, 34°C. The outdoor pens are crowded. The horses have no protection from the sun and heat, which contravenes applicable EU regulations.

Three months earlier, in November 2019, this place was inspected by auditors from the University of Louvain in Belgium on behalf of…