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STOP HORSING AROUND: A Disturbing Peek Inside Argentina’s Horse Meat Industry for European Market

Argentina's network in the hidden and bloody horse trade industry supplies 60% of the horse meat consumed in Europe. That amounts to about 200,000 horses per year.

EMILIA VEXLER: Argentina is best known for its beef. But, unbeknownst to many, it also has a long tradition of killing horses for meat. The fact is especially surprising given that within the South American country, consumption of ‘carne de caballo’ is an absolute no-no. There are some eager markets abroad, however, and Argentine producers are more than willing to meet that demand. In fact, Argentina is the world’s leading horse meat exporter.

The networks in this bloody, hidden trade supply approximately 60% of the horse meat consumed in Europe. That amounts to about 200,000 horses per year. But where exactly do these animals come from? And why is this trade so secret? The makers of a new documentary called Cinco Corazones (“Five Hearts”) try to answer these questions and more. They also hope the film will create pressure to bring an immediate end to the industry.

The documentary follows a three-year investigation into this cruel process, and is presented by the actress and animal rights activist Liz Solari. It reveals the mistreatment of animals from the start to the end of their lives. It also highlights the efforts of several NGOs in Argentina, namely the Franz Weber Foundation, Tierschutzbund Zürich (TSB) and the Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) to prevent this trade…

The horses themselves aren’t necessarily raised for their meat. They’re retired work horses (something that’s still common in rural areas) or former polo horses that are then handed over for meat production at the end of their useful lives… there’s no official register of horse farms destined for meat production. This is thought to lead to traditional or sporting practices or acts of corruption inside a business that essentially relies on cruelty to animals…

“It is important for Argentines to know what exactly happens with the horse that is so representative of our cultural DNA,” Martín Parlato, director of Cinco Corazones and founder of the Posibl. production company, told Clarín. “But it’s also crucial for European consumers to know what there is behind the food placed on their plates every day”. SOURCE…

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