Argentina | Gualeguay | Slaughterhouse Entre Rios | Horsemeat import
When we arrive at the slaughterhouse Entre Rios at 7:50, the holding pens in the lairage area and the large paddocks in the back of the plant are empty. During our visit last year, we saw some dilapidated shelters with partially ripped fabric-roofs in the paddocks. These run-down shelters are all gone and the large paddocks offer no more weather protection at all.
At 10:30, a horse truck arrives. In Argentina, transport vehicles are designed for cattle and are totally inappropriate for the transport of horses. They are not transported in individual stalls, as required in the EU for long journeys, and ranking fights during transport lead to stress, injuries or death. The horses are unloaded shorty after arrival. A worker climbs on top of the truck and moves the horses from above, which scares these flight animals. After unloading, the horses are moved over to the buildings for immediate slaughter.
Last year, we discovered a pile of dead horses behind the slaughterhouse. Not much has changed since then, only that the site is much larger now, where we find horse carcasses, bones, legs and organs. An informant tells us that horses regularly die on the trucks and their bodies are discarded here. He explains that when the weather is very hot, there are usually two to four dead horses on each truck. The horses go down during the long transport due to exhaustion and are trampled to death by the other horses. Furthermore, we are told that people living in the vicinity come here when horses are delivered, to cut off meat from the dead animals. The people are poor, says our informant.