The issue

They plod and toil in the dangerous urban canyons of Latin American cities under the most abject conditions. Driven and whipped on by their owners, the rubbish collectors, they haul rickety old carts, overloaded with piles of bulky items and garbage. They are the rubbish-collection horses.

As the cheapest method of transport around, the horses cart waste materials from the city’s rubbish dumps and streets to sell on to recycling firms. Often not given enough food, water or rest, often brutally treated, these poor creatures are worked until they drop dead.

Our project

In 2013, Fondation Franz Weber (FFW) set up the Sanctuary Equidad on 10 hectares in San Marcos Sierras, Central Argentina, to counteract this suffering that is still widespread throughout Latin America.

In the spring of 2021, FFW was able to acquire a more secluded, much larger – 312 hectare – property with green meadows, forests, mountain pastures and a river: the perfect paradise of peace, beauty and freedom for animals.

At Equidad, the foundation takes in freed rubbish-collection horses, provides them with medical care, looks after them and gives them a new life in peace and dignity. It is a campaign that is making excellent progress. Thousands of horses have already been released from their misery and  replaced by motorised vehicles across Latin America.

Yet, there is still so much to do. Tens of thousands of rubbish-collection horses are waiting to be freed in Argentina alone. There is great support for the movement within government and society. However, political progress often takes time, hence plenty of patience is required.

160 horses, 4 ponies, 7 donkeys, 3 pygmy donkeys, 2 mules, 14 cows, 1 buffalo, 23 goats, 11 sheep, 25 pigs, 3 wild boars, 4 llamas, 25 dogs and 10 roosters currently live at Equidad (as of February 2021). After a miserable existence knowing nothing but drudgery, suffering and mistreatment, they have begun a new life here. All the more now, our team loves and cares for these liberated animals.

Our goals

  • Careful, sustainable development of the sanctuary and its infrastructure so that we can accept more horses
  • Collaboration with the authorities, especially in the matter of confiscating and rescuing abused animals or recovering injured animals
  • Collaboration with educational institutions to educate the population and raise awareness
  • Create progress reports as a pioneering model to be followed in the development of similar sanctuaries

Facts and Figures


0 horses
currently live at Equidad
0 Fondation Franz Weber
opened its sanctuary Equidad in Argentina
0 kilos
and more were the rubbish-collection horses forced to haul before being freed of their torment
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