Australia | Burpengary, Queensland | Horse assembly centre of Brian Munro
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 riding horses from the horses destined for slaughter. The riding horses are wearing rugs or halters, whilst the “slaughter” horses are wearing an orange neck collar with a slaughter tag. During our investigation we detect a severely emaciated horse with prominent ribs, pelvis and backbone, which is unfit for transport.
We witness how two horses, a pinto and a palomino, are getting neck collars with numbered slaughter tags just before loading. However, they should have already been tagged on the property of the previous owner when Munro purchased them. It is prohibited according to Australian traceability rules to tag horses just before transporting them to the slaughterhouse.
After kill buyer Munro’s truck leaves the property, we follow it to the Meramist abattoir. Munro makes three deliveries to Meramist in total today. The last truck with horses arrives in the baking midday heat. The horses are soaked with sweat as they leave the transporter. They will be slaughtered tomorrow. For the next 20 to 24 hours they will stay in the slaughterhouse pens without feed or bedding and with insufficient shade.