Puebla // Mexico // October 2014
The «Mole de Caderas Ethnic Festival» takes place every October at Hacienda Doña Carlota, a farm located at the town of Tehuacán (Puebla, Mexico). This event, which used to be known as «The Killing» is a tradition that traces back to the 17th century, when the Spanish Empire introduced goat farming during the colonization of the Americas.
In order to supply for the needs of the festival, at the beginning of each year thousands of goats are herded and fatenned. Six thousand goats are sent to the slaughterhouse during the festival, which is open to journalists, photographers and photojournalist who are invited to witness and document the way the killing takes place.
This photo series does not aim at showing the folkloric features of this killing, but to take advantage of this event to expose the situation suffered by animals in slaughterhouses.
The ways animals are exploited this footage shows are common in many abattoirs, regardless of the differences between them regarding the hygiene and the conditions in which animals are. Animals suffering significant distress fight for their lives. Many of them are still alive while their throats are cut – despite having been previously stunned with captive bolt pistols. Lambs barely a few days old are left forgotten to die at some corner of the slaughterhouse.
Downloading and classification area. Goats await to enter the slaughterhouse.
Many she-goats arrive pregnant to the slaughterhouse. This lamb was born at the slaughterhouse barns.
Goats are shot with a captive bolt pistol in order to stun them. This is not always done, and many of them get their throats cut while they are still conscious.
At this slaughterhouse goats see how the goats before them get shot. They resist to being captured.
Stunning does not always work. Some percentage of the animals reach conscious the slaughter area
Goats are stunned with a captive bolt pistol.
Skinning. The animals’ skin is used for the production of items such as shoes or bags.
Cleaning goat skulls.
Cleaning goat skulls.
Some workers spend their whole lives slaughtering animals .
Horn trimming area at a goat slaughterhouse.
Many she-goats arrive pregnant at the slaughterhouse. In this picture a worker is dismembering several fetuses.
Hips are subsequently used in a traditional dish.
Meat is sun-dried for four or five days.