WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
Video Credit: CEN
Three suspects have gone on trial for this video of a tied horse being hit in the head with a hammer before the animal was allegedly killed and chopped up.
Three people, two men and a woman, have been charged with animal abuse and livestock theft after the video allegedly showing them beating the horse with the hammer was posted onto social media in 2016 in the province of Tierra del Fuego, southern Argentina.
In the video, one man can be seen holding a horse’s head still with a rope while another man swings a hammer into its head.
Pictures Credit: CEN
The horse reels back from the blow and the clip shows the men repeating the cruel act, with the horse staggering again after being hit with the hammer.
Local media report the horse was killed with a combination of the hammer blows and stab wounds from a knife before it was dismembered and cut into pieces.
A photo shows the dead horse lying on the ground with its inside sprawled out next to it.
Three people, named in reports as Cristian Gustavo Acosta, Claudia Andrea Lezcano and Matias Ronaldo Dominguez, whose ages have not been reported, were charged with animal abuse and livestock theft, as it is believed they stole the horse from a private farm, and the trial has now begun.
At the trial Prosecutor Eduardo Urquiza said that the animal, named Schrek, belonged to Sergio Masilla and was taken from an area where it had been left to eat before it was killed, causing it “unnecessary suffering”.
Acosta, one of the suspects, reportedly claimed in the trial that he had found the horse untied and that he rode it to the El Escondido neighbourhood where he decided to kill it because at the time he was unemployed and “had nothing to eat”.
The suspect, who is reportedly serving a five-year prison sentence for an unspecified crime, said: “I did not want it to suffer. I hit it a few times with a hammer, covering its head at first, but as it was not dying I had to stab it with a knife.”
Lezcano, the other suspect who is also reportedly under arrest for another penal case, is said to have admitted that she recorded the video but says that she did not steal the animal nor hurt it, adding that the video was posted online after she showed it to her mother.
Dominguez, the third suspect, refused to talk to the judges but his previous statements at police stations said that he was the person holding the horse still during the attack and he says later he decided to leave because it was “shocking”.
Judges Maximiliano Garcia Arpon, Rodolfo Bembihy Videla and Alejandro Pagano Zavalia have interviewed four other people and used the video of the horse’s death during the trial, which is ongoing.
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