Cross-posted from WTHR-TV Ch. 13 Indianapolis
BOB SEGALL / 13 INVESTIGATES
Indianapolis — Despite the closure of all horse slaughterhouses in the United States, 13 Investigates has discovered thousands of Indiana horses are still ending up on dinner plates. A 3-month Eyewitness News investigation shows local horses are being slaughtered for their meat following a long journey that begins in Indiana, and undercover video raises questions about how the horses are killed.
Race horses, work horses, and ponies that used to be pets – they are among thousands of horses sold each year at livestock auctions in Indiana.
The auctions are the beginning of a long pipeline that fuels a multi-million dollar horse meat industry, and an Eyewitness News undercover investigation followed that pipeline to see how it works.
Many of the horses begin their journey at the Shipshewana Horse Auction in northern Indiana.
This month, WTHR attended the auction and watched one man purchase most of the horses. Jeroslav Gold, owner of Roping J Ranch in Fair Haven, Mich., is known as a “kill buyer” because many of the horses he buys are sent to slaughter.
After Gold bought dozens of horses in Shipshewana, they were taken to a large holding pen behind the auction barn. Thirty-six hours later, just before midnight on a Saturday evening, the horses were loaded onto a livestock trailer and transported to his farm. 13 Investigates then followed a truckload of Gold’s horses to Canada, where they were delivered to the Viande Richelieu slaughterhouse in Massueville, Quebec.
The 15-hour truck ride from Shipshewana to Richelieu (stops not included) covers more than 800 miles.
“The animal rights activists closed down all the [US] slaughterhouses, so that’s fine and dandy,” Gold said. “But the real end result of their work is horses now go to Canada and Mexico on long trips. They’re still being slaughtered, so what did that accomplish?”