Kaiserslautern – They are gruesome shots from a slaughterhouse: a dark horse with a light mane lies on the ground, blood splatters from its neck. The horse breathes, hits its legs, tries to get up. The cold blood’s agony lasts almost two minutes. When the horse is dead, it is skinned, cut up and made into sausage.
The bloody recordings were taken between September and October 2021 and handed over to animal rights activist Philipp Hörmann (38), who is a trained butcher. He knows what was done wrong in the slaughter.
Regarding BILD, Hörmann says: “This is an offense of cruelty to animals. The horse was improperly anesthetized, bleeding to death while fully conscious. The perpetrators and those responsible must be punished for this. “
The animal rights activist files a criminal complaint with the police and hands over the video material, which also shows other incorrectly anesthetized horses, to the authorities.
The place of shame is said to be the slaughterhouse of the traditional Palatinate company Härting GmbH. It is located on the western outskirts, between train tracks and military barracks. Horses have been slaughtered here since 2002. The boss is butcher master Dirk Habermann, he is also head master in the butcher’s guild West Palatinate.
According to the company, the Härting GmbH slaughterhouse sources the animals from southwest Germany. They are recreational and breeding animals as can be seen everywhere in the pastures. They are given up when they can no longer be used for breeding or recreational riding. Allegedly, the owners often bring their animals to the slaughterhouse themselves to see for themselves that the animals are treated appropriately.
BILD wanted to ask those responsible about the serious allegations. In the main Härting branch, the reporters were told that the boss was on vacation and did not want to comment. The butcher left a written request unanswered.
The animal welfare expert Dr. Michael Marahrens (65) from the Friedrich-Löffler-Institut confirms that the criminal offense of animal cruelty has been fulfilled. The legally required loss of perception and sensitivity was apparently not given. In such cases there must be a control of the stunning and the horse should have been re-stunning.
For butcher colleague Andreas Lauer from the neighboring village of Winnweiler, the most important thing when slaughtering is “that the animals are properly anesthetized and that they do not feel pain or suffer when they die”.
Härting still sells its sausage specialties made from horse meat three times a week at the market in Kaiserslautern and also in the stadium on the north and west stands during league games of 1. FC Kaiserslautern.
Now the public prosecutor’s office in Kaiserslautern is checking whether there is any initial suspicion and an investigation is being opened.