15. March 2015

Uruguay | Tranqueras | Slaughter horse collecting station | Horsemeat Import

[Translate to English:] Pferde grasen am Rand einer Eukalyptusplantage.

[Translate to English:] Laderampe bei der Sammelstelle von Bardanca.

[Translate to English:] Der Wassertrog ist voller Algen.

In the morning, we visit the collecting station of horse dealer Bardanca, who supplies all three EU approved slaughterhouses with horses. He is one of Clay’s main suppliers and shipped more than 1.300 horses to Clay in 2014. Bardanca leases land in Tranqueras in the north of Uruguay from an international forestry company. When we arrive there, we find empty holding pens and a loading ramp. The water in the trough is very dirty and full of algae. On the pasture behind the pens, we spot a group of approx. 10 horses at the edge of the forest. There are likely more horses inside the eucalyptus plantation, which are hidden from our view.

Later we learn that Bardanca is known to be the biggest smuggler of horses in Uruguay. An official says that the Bardanca family has been smuggling horses for generations and that it is easy to bring them across the Brazilian/Uruguayan border.