...my treasures do not sparkle they clink,
they shine in the sun and neigh in the night...



Milan, horses chained up in a scrap metal yard, others ’vanish’: IHP, Police and Stricia La Notizia take action [VIDEO]


(16 December 2013)

On 29 November IHP received a report of a case of mistreatment, and possible theft, of 7 mares originating from the Grifone di Vinovo breeding farm (well known, as the world-famous trotter Varenne stands at stud there), in the Province of Torino.

The owner of the stud farm, Sig. Mulas, told us that he had decided to find a new home for the mares, due to serious financial difficulties, and looked for a suitable place where, most important of all, they would be properly taken care of. His advertisement drew a reply from a person from Milan, presenting himself as a wealthy horse lover confined to a wheelchair: in the course of numerous phone conversations he said he had a park where the mares could live in freedom, and keep him company. His affable tone and his many reassurances convinced Mulas who – in our opinion committing a grave error – decided to send the mares directly there. There, where the truth was quite another matter: the driver of the lorry was given a number of excuses and was asked to unload the horses in a very ramshackle place, full of rubbish and scrap of all kinds. Four unidentified persons were present to receive the horses.

The following day, the now suspicious Mulas rushed to the place (via Quinto Sole, Milan, near via Ripamonti), and realised that he had been tricked: there was no trace of his mares....and in the place of a park there was a teetering tin structure with a padlocked entrance preventing access, or even a view to the inside.
And it was at this point that he called us.
One of our volunteers went immediately to assess the situation and through a wall of plastic taped together saw a mare tied short by a chain, standing on cement, without food or water.
After a while the new owner appeared: not in a wheelchair but.....driving a car and walking on two legs. This fake-disabled horse lover then dropped his mask and became extremely aggressive and menacing, before leaving the scene.

We tried in vain to contact the local ASL, and at this point Edoardo Stoppa of Striscia La Notizia intervened with his team, to document the preposterous situation: in addition to the mare chained to a wall, three more horses were found tethered inside the tin construction. We waited for the self-styled invalid to return, and when he did, he replied to Stoppa’s questions with extreme violence, to the point of hurling stones and iron bars at him and his team.
The following morning we contacted the Animal Well-being Task Force of the Ministry of Health, who immediately activated the NAS, the local police, the regional Health Authority, and the Milan ASL.

Having forced entry into this hellish place, the Authorities were immediately issued with the order for seizure of the animals: within a few hours the transfer of the animals (four horses and two goats) was organised – they were taken to a safe place provided by another IHP volunteer. (watch Striscia La Notizia video here).
Of the four horses found, only one is from the Il Grifone stud, there is no trace at all of the other six, and we strongly suspect they were illicitly sent for slaughter: the NAS is investigating.
While waiting for an outcome of the enquiries, we can only ask how it is conceivable that the vets of the ASL could have issued a registration number (i.e. the authorisation to keep horses on the premises) to a place like that, also without any legal documentation. Since this is by no means the first occurrence of ’easy authorisation’ given without even an inspection of the premises, we ask the Ministry of Health to require the ASL to carry out this part of their duties properly.