Investigations by date:

20. March 2015

Uruguay | Montevideo | Interview with Dr. Cabanas | Blood farms for hormone production

[Translate to English:] Interview mit Dr. Homero Cabanas, Präsident der nationalen Tierschutzkommission.

We want to ask a government official who is responsible for the control of the blood business and arrange a meeting with Dr. Homero Cabanas, President of the national Animal Welfare Committee. We would like to know how many companies are involved in the blood business, who is inspecting them and where the blood serum is exported to.

Dr. Cabanas…

19. March 2015

Uruguay | San Antonio | Horse Auction | Horsemeat Import

[Translate to English:] Ein Reitpferd wird durch den Auktionsring gehetzt.

The horse auction in San Antonio is organised by horse dealer Richard Prego, who is one of Clay’s largest suppliers of slaughter horses. The sale starts at 15:00. Theauctioneer announces through loudspeakers that 400 horses are offered for sale. Both riding and loose horses are chased through the auction ring for about two minutes. The handling by…

17. March 2015

Uruguay | Treinta y Tres | Farm of Syntex | Blood farms for hormone production

[Translate to English:] Eine dünne Stute und ihr Fohlen auf einer Waldlichtung.

At 15:15, we arrive in the small village Valentines in the Department of Treinta y Tres and ask around for the farm of Syntex. People have never heard of this company, but say that this must be the farm of Rubio where they take blood from mares (Federico Rubio is indeed the owner of Syntex Uruguay SA). People say that the estancia is called “El…

17. March 2015

Uruguay | Treinta y Tres | Slaughterhouse El Amanecer | Horsemeat Import

[Translate to English:] Ein Pferdeschädel ohne Einschussloch liegt auf der Schlachthofweide.

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…

15. March 2015

Uruguay | Artigas | Slaughter horse collecting station | Horsemeat Import

[Translate to English:] Sammelstelle von Bonfrisco, Lieferant von Clay.

In the afternoon, we drive to the collecting station of horse dealer Bonfrisco, south of Artigas at the Brazilian border. Bonfrisco shipped 438 horses to the slaughterhouse Clay last year. His collecting station is located in a very remote area and difficult to find. When we finally arrive, we note that nobody is there. The holding pens behind the…

15. March 2015

Uruguay | Tranqueras | Slaughter horse collecting station | Horsemeat Import

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

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…

13. March 2015

Uruguay | Sauce | Slaughterhouse Sarel | Horsemeat Import

[Translate to English:] Pferde kämpfen im überfüllten Anhänger.

In the morning, we follow a horse transporter that drives by Clay to the slaughterhouse Sarel. It is a typical Uruguayan livestock truck, which has no roof and therefore offers the animals no protection from sun and rain. The trailer appears overcrowded and we observe a lot of biting. At Sarel, there are horses in the paddocks next to the main…

13. March 2015

Uruguay | Totoral del Sauce | Slaughterhouse Clay | horsemeat import

[Translate to English:] Ein heruntergekommener Transporter entlädt Pferde bei Clay. Sammelstelle Clay: Pferch ohne jeglichen Witterungsschutz.

We arrive at the Clay slaughterhouse at 9:00. Not far from the slaughter plant, thereis Clay’s collecting station for slaughter horses. We note that some of the pensoffer no shelter at all. Other pens have a worn shelter made of wooden posts with some black fabric as roof. The fabric has fallen off in most areas, leaving the majority of the animals…

13. March 2015

Poland | Bodzentyn | Meeting with the mayor of Bodzentyn

[Translate to English:]

Our team meets the new mayor of Bodzentyn to discuss the horse and the cattle market in Bodzentyn. Mr. Skiba wants to continue operating the market, because it is the only chance for the small-scale farmers in this region to sell their animals. Closing the market will lead in his opinion to illegal trade and prolonged transport times for the…