Flewelling Slaughter Horse Feedlot, Lacombe, AB; 9/1/16

Thursday, September 1, 2016 - 09:00
Investigation Category: 

Glen Flewelling is one of the largest slaughter horse traders in Alberta, Canada. Flewelling raises horses for slaughter and ships them to Japan. Animals’ Angels investigators recently returned to this large feedlot in Lacombe to check on the conditions for the animals. 

After a few days of rain, the lower part of the feedlot was a muddy mess, and some of the horses were standing in mud that reached well over their ankles. In some areas, the water had accumulated and was forming pools filled with a mixture of rainwater, urine and manure, surrounded by deep mud. 

It appeared that the approximately 400 horses inside the lot, all with a body condition score between 6-8, were just as lethargic this date as during the investigators' previous visit. Despite the deep mud, many were lying flat on their sides and sleeping. Others were sitting upright, also with their eyes closed.

It also appeared that hoof care had not improved since our last visit and several horses were spotted with severely overgrown, cracked hooves. One horse’s hind foot was so bad that the split hoof was growing upwards and had formed what looked like “two fingers.”

The majority of the horses that were standing were gathered around the metal feeding stations filled with grain. There was still no shelter whatsoever available for any of the horses inside the feedlot, just simple wooden fencing to break the icy winter gusts. 

Investigators noticed that many of the horses had been put together in a large pen at the front of the feedlot. This pen was very overcrowded and the horses, apparently not used to such close contact, were very agitated. A great deal of fighting, biting, and kicking was observed. 

Investigators remained in place to see if this crowded confinement had been in preparation for an upcoming transport, but there was no more activity during the time of observation.  

Animals’ Angels will continue to monitor this location.