30. January 2019

USA | Shelby | Bouvry’s horse assembly centre

The animals are kept in the open and in the bitter cold at the horse assembly centre in Shelby,

A dead horse with a large wound on his hindquarters. It is likely to have been caused by scavengers.

Another dead horse is also left in the pen among the other animals.

A truck loaded with horses is heading to the Canadian border.

Together with our partner organisation Animals’ Angels USA, we have been monitoring the horse feedlot in Shelby, Montana, for many years. The feedlot serves as the US assembly centre for Bouvry, the largest Canadian horse slaughterhouse. Our previous investigations have uncovered tremendous abuse and neglect of the animals.

We return to Shelby in January 2019 and observe the location several days. The temperatures measured are as low as -17°C. Despite our numerous complaints in the past, there is still no shelter from extreme weather conditions in winter. We see approximately 700 horses at the facility. Some of them are still wearing auction tags. Mares with young foals are mixed together with other horses. Several emaciated horses are observed as well as several lame animals. A chestnut coloured horse is unable to bear weight on his front leg and hobbles on three legs. We detect the carcass of a dead horse in the middle of the other animals, and another one the next day.

Every morning, a truck arrives at the assembly centre around 8 am. Workers then transfer a group of about 30 horses from the pens to the scale. They use flags to move the horses. We see one worker who is hitting the horses across the heads and bodies. The animals are frightened and extremely agitated. They are loaded around 9 am. After the loading, the truck leaves and drives towards the Canadian border.

Our new investigation shows that Bouvry has not improved the conditions at the Montana feedlot. We will report our observations to the authorities in the United States and the European Union.