AA Investigation: Mexico Horse Slaughter Plants Continue to be Non-Compliant with EU Standards

Article/Report by Animals Angels

BLM Wild Horse Freeze Brands Clearly Visible on Horses in Plant

Animals’ Angels investigators observed harsh conditions in EU approved Mexican slaughterhouses during an intensive investigation conducted in September 2012. The goal of this follow up investigation was to check if any improvements had been made since the 2007/2008 investigations had revealed abhorrent conditions. Animal welfare investigators are accustomed to observing the most egregious treatment of animals. Even the slightest improvements are welcome, but do not bring a cease fire to the battle for humane treatment of all animals transported to slaughter.

EU inspections of Mexican slaughter houses are scheduled in advance, clearly giving notice to the slaughterhouses to comply with regulations on that one day of inspection.
Animals’ Angels arrived unannounced at several of the EU approved plants as they observed multiple trucks carrying horses from the US to slaughter. Horses were jammed into transport trailers, resulting in biting and fighting among them. The common use of trailers with no roof is cruel as the intensive sun in the transport areas beats down upon horses already over-heated due to over-crowding and long waiting times inside parked trailers at US broker offices and the border. (Please read more about this issue here…)

One transport trailer observed arriving at the Inter Meats plant contained many emaciated horses and others with snotty noses and discharge-clotted eyes. After traveling at least 16 hours with no food or water, they were unloaded in pens with no food or water during observance by the investigators.

Alarmingly, amongst them were BLM branded horses. These mustangs were shipped by Triple Crown Ranch from Meeker,OK. Examination of owner/shipper paperwork by Triple Crown Ranch reveals identical information as to previous certificates, as if Triple Crown has shipped the same group of horses over and over again. This is in clear violation of paperwork intended to track contaminated meat. Investigators left when told by slaughterhouse personnel to cease filming.

The following day, investigators arrived at Carnicos de Jerez slaughterhouse in Jerez, MX observing that a solid block wall and manned security gate had been erected around the premises blocking all view from outside the premises.

Investigators proceeded to Empacadora de Ganadera de Camargo, the newest EU approved plant. The horses were held in open pens at the Carmargo plant, exposed to the hot Mexican sun, with limited access to food and water. Many of the horses were extremely emaciated and investigators found a downed horse that slaughterhouse staff did not check during the time of the observation.

A large pit holding horse carcasses was found. The bodies were left uncovered for vultures to eat. There were bones and body parts scattered throughout the area. The smell of decomposition filled the air. Horses’ tails and hair could be seen drying on wooden planks with the USDA tags still attached, some stuffed into feedbags.

While being moved the horses were forced to walk through areas with no bedding or traction. The slippery floors caused several to fall with full force.

Prior to entering the killbox, horses are subjected to a pressurized water shower resulting in one horse to panic during our time of observation. The horse tried to jump the chute’s concrete wall; workers forced him back into the chute, but he obtained a bleeding face injury in this struggle.

Our investigators were able to obtain documentation of the slaughter process. Led into a kill pen, the horse is stunned by a captive bolt. The left hind leg is secured with a chain in order to hang the horse from a beam.  Blood is drawn for testing. They are then cut open and bled out.

As explained in our full investigative report (Warning – report contains graphic images) , the investigation revealed several areas of concern.

Council Directive 2002/99/EC states that third countries importing meat into the European Union have to comply with Community Legislation.Obviously this is not happening. Specifically, animal welfare requirements at slaughter must be met in accordance with Council Directive 93/119/EC.

Observations at the Camargo plant show that horses slip and fall during movement to the plant due to slippery surfaces. Additionally, one horse panicked after being showered and tried to escape over the concrete wall of the chute obtaining a bleeding face injury. A non-ambulatory horse was observed which did not receive immediate attention. Observations at the Camargo plant as well as the Aguacalientes plant show that horses did not have access to water at all times.

Horses are transported to the plant in open roof trailers that offer absolutely no protection from the desert sun. Loaded trailers are parked for an extended time at border crossings and checkpoints, causing overheating.

Evidence obtained by Animals’ Angels shows that the paperwork used to identify the horses in the individual shipment is often falsified and therefore not reliable. The information regarding sex, breed and age of the horses in different shipments is identical on multiple owner/shipper certificates. Consequently, it can’t be determined where the horses in such shipments originated.

Slaughterhouses and suppliers are in clear violation of EU standards yet the violations continue unabated with no repercussions. Animals’ Angels investigations are used to educate consumers in the EU, citing mistreatment and possible contamination of the American horse meat they pay a premium for.

Link to the full investigation report…
(Warning – report contains graphic images)
Watch the undercover video from the Camargo plant investigation..
(Warning – video contains extremely graphic images that might the disturbing to some. Viewer discretion is advised)

34 comments on “AA Investigation: Mexico Horse Slaughter Plants Continue to be Non-Compliant with EU Standards

      • Thank you RT & Terry for all that you do for the innocent ones… I encourage EVERYONE to sign up to receive e-mail updates from ANIMALS ANGELS…They are having a fundraiser “LIGHT THE SKY” ON Dec. 1st in Toyahvale, TX. We can send in a donation to light candles for the horses that pass on that infamous interstate…..also known as the “TRAIL OF SLAUGHTER”… on their way to Mexico…. (I was unable to find a link on their website to find this….but then, they are very busy). At this time of Thanksgiving?? I am grateful for orgs. like R.T.’s (and so many others) who truly are brave enough to confront the ones who have no regard at all for our horses or other living creatures.. It is all about greed… All horses deserve to live in peace…but the mustangs and burros being exterminated?? Not going to express my rage here, just need to do something positive and spring into action….

      • Animals Angels sent me the link for the “LIGHT THE SKY 2012″ article on their website. It is www,animalsangels.org/newsletter.html Thank you Sonya!

  1. I could not watch this horror, I know enough already. But I forwarded it to Joan Guilfoyle and the folks at Humane Society of the US with a terse remark to note the lies promulgated about the sale tracking confidence of mustangs sold to just anyone. HSUS should be posting this as eagerly as they do the puppy mill pleas to the membership—it is reprehensible, illegal behavior by their BLM “partners” and if the HSUS 11million members saw the evidence, they would scream a suitable protest.

  2. isnt there anyway to stop this madness…. I love horses and it just broke my heart to see what they do to them just for the love of money…..

  3. I cannot, in this day and time, comprehend that people that are capable of such egregious acts still walk amongst us. What’s worse is they are part of our gene pool. Maybe it’s time for us to ‘cull’!

  4. This is so very wrong. I wrote to my Congressman Tim Walz, and he told me that only the sick, old and dying horses are sent to slaughter. How naive can he be. I’d love to forward this link to his office and show him how wrong that thinking is.

  5. Please help support Animal Angels. They will be having their Light the Sky candle lighting vigil soon in Texas and you can buy a candle and have them tell your story of loss to the slaughter pipeline…
    They need our donations for gas. Please help them keep their work ongoing. They are trained and professional and they follow through to the courts when ever possible.

    There is a link to them on the left; http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?llr=whxo74bab&v=001OwqOR7yhbtUHa7BBhuCnoXajHu0OR9cavhLdwNJiO4MXlr4yZBdfklHk8gBu0N_yN6awiNo1OohlcBZzucj0kqZ6PIELHmG7-UyeH4280fp7bdiTVu6bYg0z8URWzrp6HdRoeICL3vfLNk6QbFS6wn_Oy-CZNW3MtZorVs2mAfNoj58odM-Tfgr-b0e-zBx7haS_SrrSWkp4KTgOG9quIhfzJhyD7ld5jqMP9RfPW8k4kDNHpLzMcQ%3D%3D

  6. What can be done about this? Where do we go with this? I read the whole report so I could get the best bang for the buck. My level of anger is so over the edge right now that I don’t know whether to cry or get even with these bastards. The people who work in these hell holes deserve nothing less than what they mete out to these horses; but even the thought of them getting their just desserts still doesn’t stop me from wanting to scream, cry and tear at my hair. Will this mean anything to anybody who will exert the pressure needed to put the EU in the position of not buying meat from these concentration camps for horses. That’s exactly what it reminds me of. The emaciated people staring out of the cattle cars going to Auschwitz. Then the bodies lying around. The dirt, mud, excrement and sense of hopelessness in their eyes before they are taken to the gas chambers. These horses have the same look of desperation and despair in their eyes. The look that says I was a treasured foal once or maybe someones best friend. Where is that friend now? I was wild and free once. Why am I here? I’m so sick of this crap. Damn.

  7. Thank you Animal Angels for such extraordinary reporting. I could not have stood there without someone getting hurt. I bow to you guys. I find it very hard to be like Gandhi when animals ro children are involved.

  8. Thank You Animal angels as horrible as it is , it has to be shown !!!! It makes my blood run cold, Please we need to make it Stop !!! This is a horror I cannot bare !!!~ Why should any horse be put through that ??????? What in hell is wrong with these demented freaks that could do this ????????? I am Infuriated ,We must put this to an end !!!!

  9. This abuse has been going on for years. In 2009 horse slaughter was closed in Texas, the last plant in U. S. Last year Obama signed a bill to open the path to horse slaughter in U. S. I have heard people say horse slaughter in U. S. will be humane. I believe this to be a lie. Look at the viedo from Hallmark Slaughter Plant in Fresno ,Ca. Downed cows butchered thern sent to schools for food. Some people don’t care about the animals. Would you serve your children contaminated meat. This is a dirty business. Thank you Animal Angels and RTFitch for showing the truth.

  10. November 17, 2012 at 12:02 PM (Edit)

    http://horsebackmagazine.com/hb/archives/19225

    Public Employee Group Calls for Salazar Ouster
    November 16, 2012
    Public Employees for Enviornmental Responsibility Says Time to Go
    WASHINGTON, (PEER) – This week, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar apologized to a reporter he had threatened to “punch out” for asking him pointed questions about the scandal-plagued wild horse program. His frustration may be understandable, as the wild horse program is one in a corral-full of knotty problems that Interior has not resolved. In fact, Salazar’s tenure at Interior has been one fiasco followed by another.
    One of his first major decisions was to embrace the Bush “Drill, Baby, Drill” offshore oil program. Then the BP Gulf spill happened. Salazar’s first reaction was to scapegoat his own MMS Director who had been told to stay away from the oil issues and concentrate on alternative energy. Next, he broke up MMS in ways that kept the same pro-development biases in place.
    Even today, Interior rushed approvals for Shell to enter Arctic waters without doing basic safety checks and still relying on industry self-certification. Serious environmental concerns are still being suppressed. Agency approvals were given despite the fact that spill response capacity in the Arctic remains a big unknown.
    Salazar is often mistaken for the Secretary of Energy but not just for pushing oil and gas. His zealous pursuit of an “all of the above” energy approach appears to have left no resource un-bruised –
    • His agencies green-lighted offshore wind farms without requiring bird and bat studies to determine their impact;
    • He pushed mega-solar facilities in prime desert wildlife habitat rather than restricting them to already disturbed areas, like abandoned mines. The headlong rush will aggravate already acute water shortages in the arid West; and
    • Interior agencies such as BLM are run as if Dick Cheney is still in charge with a singular focus on new energy permitting regardless of impact.
    One central problem is that Salazar thinks he is entitled to cut deals with public resources like they are his to bargain away. Consider two recent Salazar forays into blatantly political deal-making at the expense of Interior’s resources –
    • Behind closed doors, he illegally negotiated a 200-foot tall transmission tower corridor (with flashing lights atop the towers) to cut across the most scenic parts of the Delaware Water Gap (often called the Grand Canyon of the East) and the Appalachian National Scenic Trail in return for an unspecified $65 million industry-financed mitigation package. PEER is currently suing Interior to force release of the details of lobbyist meetings with Salazar; and
    • He intervened to undermine a Park Service decision to deny a permit for a professional bike race that would close down part of the Colorado National Monument. Despite the fact that the Park Service had rejected the permit three times, Salazar met privately with proponents to lay out a plan to do a new assessment, later saying the parks “need to be better neighbors.”
    In his press conference on Wednesday, President Obama made it clear that the environment (at least climate change) would not be a second term priority. If he does not plan to spend political capital on the environment, at least his administration should not make matters worse. It does not seem too much to ask that for the second term he appoint someone who actually understands Interior’s mission and will follow the law.
    So despite the reelection, some regime change is definitely in order. Help us bring it about.

    • What we have here and now is a situation, of enormous magnitude, with ramification that are forever !!!!! we can read and write till our eyes fall out, and write till the cows come home and NONE of it changes one damn thing for our Mustangs , they still suffer tremendously, NOW WHAT CAN WE DO TO STOP THEM??>>?????????

      • I just called the White House comment line and gave thevolunteer operator an earful. So much I am afraid she did not get the point. She could barely speak English. I am bummed. What can we do?

    • The BLM does not need funding. If the horses are left alone, and no round-ups are held it wil COST NOTHING to the taxpayer. DUH!

  11. You know we have a lot of people here. Maybe we need to do a protest at the border. I know its hard to get people together but this cruetly is kept out of the publics sight. We need to do something. On one in Washington is listening to us. We need to get their attention.

    • Animals Angels is an extremely professional org. that has legal council to cover everything that they do… We must support all of the orgs. that speak up to benefit our beloved equines, including this site and Habitat 4 Horses….also look at all of the other orgs that RT has listed on this website….. Feeling outrage is a human emotion, which should enable us to move into action… If we did not feel outraged at the injustice for our equine friends, how would we ever feel so extremely motivated to be their voice?? Do Not Give Up!! Just look at Declan Gregg in Greenland, NH….. 10 yrs.old…. And WHAT A VOICE WHO SPOKE OUT FOR THE HORSES WHO CANNOT SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES…..MY HERO!!!!!!

  12. Thank you for all you do with this blog. This madness is going to STOP when people start opening their eyes and reading the truth. Please keep up the great work of trying to create awareness to make this horrific abuse for money to stop. GOD bless you!

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