21st Dezember 2008

Horse-drama in Málaga

Stallion Pura Raza Española

In the end of October we received a request for help from Germany; a German tourist had seen horses in a horrible condition on the stud farm Yeguada el Potril in the province Málaga-Colmenar, close to Alfarnate. The horses were emaciated, horses belonging to the PRE (Pura Raza Española). These are the beautiful horses also known as Andalusian horses.

When she got back home she was searching the internet for someone in Spain who would be able to help and got in touch with Caroline Waggershauser, member of the Andalusian Collective against animal abuse.
After the president of CACMA, Antonio Moreno, had been informed about the case, he drove to Colmenar and spoke with members of the SEPRONA (Nature- and animal police, part of the Guardia Civil) there. According to them the stud farm met the minimum requirements concerning accommodation and hygiene.
So at that moment nothing more could be done.
In the meantime pictures of the horses from the stud farm El Potril had arrived as well as the information that several mares, one stallion and eight foals had died within the last nine months. The only food the horses had available was straw lacking any nutritional value. This is the reason why you see mares with swollen bellies although they are reduced to a skeleton, many of those beautiful animals died because of malnourishment.


The dead horses were buried on the territory, a severe offence against the law for epidemic prevention. Such offences as well as the animal abuse in Spain often are treated as “peccadilloes”, so the fight against bureaucracy began and many animal rights activists have been driven to desperation by this before. Many people look the other way in Spain and close their eyes so they don’t see the misery, don’t get involved because it costs too much effort and causes problems, costs money and will not be rewarded with success in many cases – so it seems a waste of time to many people.

Success is with those who persistently and assertively present their concerns to the authorities. Antonio Moreno is such a man who never stops supporting the rights of animals every day.
After Antonio had seen this horrible scenario he immediately made his report to the police based on law 8 / 20003 of the animal healthcare system and article 337 of the penal law. This report was presented to the Partulla Urbana of SEPRONA in Málaga on November 26th, 2008 whose members together with those of the OCA (agriculture authority) investigated on the stud farm El Potril. The results of the inspection were presented to the district court of Málaga on December 10th
Concerning this horse-drama we were lucky to have a direct contact to Beatriz Ferrer Salat. When she came back from the U.S., she immediately contacted Fernando Gomez of the agriculture authority of the Junta in Andalusia and Pablo Martín of the ANCCE (Asociación Nacional de Criadores de Pura Raza Española) in Sevilla and was able to get an inspection organized for the very next day.

Beatriz Ferrer Salat, the picture leads to her website:
copyright Julia Wentscher

From that moment things went fast. Antonio himself was able to take pictures on the stud farm. What he found there was terrible, two foals and a mare lying on the ground. He put one of the foals on its legs and led it to the watering place. When he left it, it was still standing. We do not know whether it survived.


The Agricultural authority of the Andalusian government ordered immediate impoundment of all surviving horses. On the stud farm gathered a large amount of police together with other official delegates as necessary in such cases. The lawyer of José-Maria Camacho, the owner of the horses, obtained an interim order though. Through this the horses could still stay on the property of Mister Camacho as long as he would meet the obligations to feed the animals properly and have a veterinary taking care of them.
To meet these conditions will most likely be a problem for him since he has enormous financial problems, his house and property were supposed to be sold by auction already, but José-Maria Camacho was able to obtain adjournment. Therefore it is not likely that there is money to provide food for the animals.
According to eye-witnesses José-Maria Camacho opened the paddock for the mares regularly to give them the opportunity of finding food on the properties of the neighbors. The Andalusian fields are not very nutritious, only after long periods of rain which barely exist the grass grows a bit better.
In the meantime Antonio tries to get a permission as temporary caretaker of the horses at court to be able to take the animals to the horse sanctuary ASOCIACIÓN CYD SANTA MARÍA in Coín near Málaga.
CACMA has already brought a charge against the owner of the horses, next Tuesday the judge will decide on the animals’ future.
If the owner can guarantee a regular feeding of the horses, they will stay on the stud farm and if not, there will be a caretaker who will take care of the horses until the final court decision.
Except for Antonio Moreno nobody has applied for this position and we hope that the judge will decide for the custody of CACMA and CvD Santa Maria.
Numerous media, press, radio and television have reported about this case.
Of course we will keep you informed, opposed to the case concerning the Trakehners in Medina Sidonia it seems that this case of animal abuse is handled a lot faster. The German tourist Elke Wimmer has started everything and got in touch with Caroline Waggershauser who is a member of CACMA and among others dealing with contacts abroad.
Thanks to the persistence and energy of Antonio Moreno and the important contacts of Beatriz Ferrer-Salat an inspection took place at a record time – it shows how important it is to have the right connections in the right places.

Why the situation had to escalate like this, why horses had to die in a horrible way can neither be explained nor be excused, it certainly would have been possible to find solutions in time to save the lives of those horses.
Horses of the Pura Raza Española are very valuable horses, a stallion usually costs between 15.000 and 40.000 €. In exceptional cases a stallion chosen for breeding can cost up to 600.000 € and a mare chosen for breeding half of that.
The horses of José-Maria Camacho originally had a value of 6000-8000 €.
Camacho does not belong to the most important breeders. Although he was registered at the ANCCE he hardly ever joined breeding events. But his horses had and have a good origin, they were and are horses of good quality but this could neither protect them against being neglected nor against starving to death.

White stallion PRE with crossbreed gelding

PRE mare with foal

PRE yearling

“The owner could have sold some horses to interested people, he could have looked for temporary places on other farms or he could have given them away to responsible people to at least protect these wonderful creatures against a horrible death.
But he did nothing of all that, he was ruthless enough to let the horses die just because he did not want to sell them under their value.
All the other options mentioned would have been acceptable considering the circumstances but let the animals starve on the dry fields …. Unbelievable. How can one watch while living creatures are slowly starving? (See the case of the Trakehners). This man has been breeding the Andalusian horses for many years.

And the other question is why his Spanish breeder-colleagues did not offer him any help. This is another example for human ignorance: To look away, not to get involved.
What a mentality. I have been living here in Spain for more than 20 years but I will never get used to this – The carelessness concerning the suffering of others, human beings and animals.
Let us hope that this case will be handled faster now than the one of the Trakehners and that the surviving horses can be taken to a safe place soon and most of all in custody of CACMA.”

Caroline Waggershauser
Stop Our Shame

See also (in German):
Cádiz Das britische Urteil gegen die Pferdequälerin und ein neues Pferdedrama
SOS Pferde in Not

The healthy horses on this side are not in the possession of the Colmar.

Sonntag, Dezember 21st, 2008, 02:57 | Allgemein, CPA Bürger für Tiere | kommentieren | Trackback

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SOS Galgos - Horse-drama in Málaga

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