18. August 2019

Argentina | Trenque Lauquen, province of Buenos Aires | Acopio Langhoff

Emaciated, weak horse lying down.

There are horses with and without ear tags in the acopio.

Horses in small pen without shelter from the elements.

We visit the acopio (assembly centre) of horse dealer Angel Langhoff for the first time. There are approx. 100 horses present, including a few ponies and foals. Most of them are kept in small holding pens with dirt floors. They have no weather protection. The condition of the horses varies greatly. While some are malnourished, others are rather overweight. Several mares appear to be pregnant. Two emaciated horses are lying down and appear weak.

Some horses have slaughter ear tags and others do not. We see horses with white ear tags, which are no longer valid since a new traceability legislation came into force in March. The horses now have to be identified with orange electronic ear tags before they leave the farm of origin.

We talk to Langhoff’s employee, who tells us that they buy horses from across the whole country for one single slaughterhouse, Lamar. They send two truckloads per week to slaughter, which are about 70 horses. He further tells us that some horses arrive with ear tags, and others are tagged at the acopio, which can happen on the same day they are sent to slaughter. According to the employee, they also buy horses in poor condition, he says “we take everything”. If they are in very bad condition, they sometimes do not survive the transport. He says it happens that horses arrive dead or die at the acopio.