Uruguay | Treinta y Tres | Slaughterhouse El Amanecer | Horsemeat Import
On a pasture belonging to the slaughterhouse El Amanecer, we find a decaying carcass of a horse as well as several horse skulls. There are no bullet holes in the skulls, what implies that the horses were left to die instead of being euthanized. Next to the slaughterhouse building, there are eight waiting pens, which do not offer any shade from the sun. In the forecourt of the stunning chute, groups of horses are hosed down with water. The worker often aims the water jet directly at their faces. In the stunning chute that leads up to the entrance of the building, the horses are also sprayed water in their faces, what makes them go back instead of moving forward.
The floor of the stunning chute is slippery and we observe a white horse falling and having difficulty getting up again. Loud noise can be heard from inside the slaughterhouse. The horses in the stunning chute show strong signs of fear or even panic. An electric prod is systematically used on the horses first in line to make them enter the building. According to the custodian of the plant, the horses are stunned by electrical current at their head. This could be the reason why water is splashed in their faces. Many horses are in a deplorable state. Some are severely emaciated; several have open cuts and abrasions on their bodies and heads. One horse has bleeding injuries along the spinal column. A large part of these injuries likely occurred during transport. In addition, we see several horses without ear tags. This is a violation of the Uruguayan law, which requires that horses without ear tags shall not be accepted for slaughter.