These are the shocking images of ex-racing horses in a French horse abattoir having spasms as they are hung by their legs and bled out that were secretly recorded by an animal rights organisation.
The association L214 published the short film behind the scenes of a slaughterhouse for horses in Equevillon, a commune in the Jura department in the Franche-Comte region of eastern France.
Most of the horses filmed had been used for racing in the past and had been retired or were deemed not fast enough.
This is the 11th video that the animal rights organisation has published on the violent and inhumane practices of French abattoirs. The video was shot using hidden cameras.
Animals with open wounds on their heads can be seen waiting in tiny boxes before being killed in shocking conditions.
Horses can be seen getting stunned with sticks and electric prods before being killed with a stunbolt gun.
They are then hung by one leg before being bled out and some seem to be still alive and conscious as their bodies spasm.
The organisation said that the horses were from two to 15 years old. Horses have a normal life expectancy of around thirty years.
Sebastien Arsac, co-founder of L214 told local media: “It is a betrayal on the part of humans, we have pampered them, we bet on them, they were stars when they ran on racetracks and then their lives ended in this lamentable way.”
The horse slaughterhouse at Equevillon ensures on its website that respect for animals is at the centre of its concerns.
Mr Arsac wondered: “But can we kill animals with respect? Just look at these new images to answer that, animals who do not want to die are killed anyway.”
The organisation had shared similar footage unfolding at the Boischaut Abattoir – certified organic – in the city of Chateauroux in the Boischaut region of the central French department of Indre.
According to local media, the footage was seen by hundreds of thousands of people, leading to the slaughterhouse’s temporary closure.
The abattoir was accused of carrying out a number of cruel and inhumane practices which are against French law on cows and calfs.
The public prosecutor of Chateauroux had opened an investigation after L214 uncovered some of the business’ alleged malpractices.