Omar Havana

Photographer
    
Inside a Cambodian Slaughterhouse
Location: Paris, France
Nationality: Spanish
Biography: Omar Havana, 1975 Granada, Spain. Spanish Freelance Photojournalist. Based in Paris, France. Previously based in Asia. ( Nepal 2014-2015 and Cambodia 2008 - 2014 ; 2015-2017) Omar has worked as a professional photojournalist since 2005, and since... read on
Public Story
Inside a Cambodian Slaughterhouse
In a country where the demand for meat is ever-increasing and where pork is generally favored, Cambodia’s swine slaughterhouses are an important business. The Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture estimates that there is a total yearly production of over 2.4 million pigs.

Hidden in the darkness of the outskirts of Siem Reap, the city of the famous Angkor temples, an old abandoned building has been transformed into a pig slaughterhouse, where hundreds of animals are killed every night. Rivers of blood cover the floor of the building while dozens of workers, most wearing nothing but underwear, rush between the cries of the pigs to make a living.

Despite lingering fears from the 2009 swine flu epidemic, there is little regulation over these slaughterhouses. The process by which pigs are slaughtered is less than hygienic. One employee in a slaughterhouse can kill and gut up to 30 pigs a night over a seven-hour shift.  

As the animals arrive, they are lined up to their death. Those who try to escape are hit with bamboo sticks on the head, just one of the ways in which their lives will come to a brutal end. The animals are then swiftly killed by a knife stab to the neck, and then washed and gutted on concrete slabs and the floor itself.  

Between the thousands of flies wandering around, there is little time to waste for the workers, as markets in Cambodia open soon after dawn. Everyone here has a duty, from the young boy hitting pigs with huge bamboo sticks to those who split the animals’ bodies in two, taking their guts out. Two doctors stepping on floors full of blood certify the quality of the product in no more than a few seconds of inspection, and a broker chooses the animals that are going to travel in the back of a dirty lorry to the local markets to supply the increasing demand for pig meat in Cambodia.  

The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) dictates that the best way to avoid contamination of the meat during the slaughtering process is to avoid contact with the floor, something which is ignored in this slaughterhouse where pigs are thrown to the floor many times during the killing process.

Photography: © Omar Havana. All Rights Are Reserved.
625

By Omar Havana —

VISUAL STORY

Endurance

By Omar Havana / Nepal — On April 25th, 2015 a 7.8 magnitude earthquake devastated Nepal, leaving almost 9,000 people dead, 22,000..
VISUAL STORY

35 years searching for justice in Cambodia

By Omar Havana / Phnom Penh — Close to two million people were killed during the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia, a generation lost in a..
VISUAL STORY

CEMENTery

By Omar Havana / Kampong Trach — Millions of years ago, a cluster of coral reefs stood firm here as the water receded, leaving them..
VISUAL STORY

The Bucolic Life of a Cambodian Grandmother Accused of Mass Killings

By Omar Havana / Anlong Veng, cambodia — In this dusty mountain hamlet on the Thai border, she is known as Grandma Chaem. The tiny 74-year-old lives..
VISUAL STORY

They Smashed Banks for Pol Pot. Now They’re Founding Them

By Omar Havana / Malai cambodia — When the Khmer Rouge were ousted in 1979, they retreated to strongholds like Malai on the western fringes..
VISUAL STORY

Breaking tradition among Nepal's Maithil women

By Omar Havana / Janakpur, Nepal — Like many women in the Maithil community in Nepal, Manjula Thakur found her life severely restricted and..
VISUAL STORY

Bonjour, Paris

By Omar Havana / Paris — "The meaning of the other and love have disappeared from this society. Without money, people do not..
VISUAL STORY

Trapped: the Dark Side of Cambodia's Beer Gardens

By Omar Havana / Siem Reap — Throughout Cambodia, thousands of women, most of them under the age of 25, work in beer gardens, karaoke..
VISUAL STORY

When the Earth Shook Nepal

By Omar Havana / Nepal — A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal on April 25th, 2015, shaking the already-impoverished nation to its..
VISUAL STORY

A woman's Cry: The detention of Tep Vanny

By Omar Havana / Phnom Penh — Tep Vanny is Cambodia’s most famous activist and the leader of the women of Boeung Kak Lake, who..
VISUAL STORY

Devotees of the Ink

By Omar Havana / Nakhom Pathom — Once a year, thousands of people from all over Thailand travel to the Wat Bang Phra temple, located about..
VISUAL STORY

The Way

By Omar Havana / Greece — More than 100,000 refugees and migrants have arrived in Greece since the beginning of 2016. They cross the..
VISUAL STORY

The Khmer Fighters

By Omar Havana / Siem Reap — Pradal Serey or Kun Khmer -free fighting- is an unarmed martial art from Cambodia. Compared to other forms..
VISUAL STORY

My Country Is My Family

By Omar Havana / Nepal — Surrounded by stunning forest, Beldangi is an example of how a refugee camp should be. Only one banner and..
VISUAL STORY

Evicting Dreams: The Last Days of the White Building

By Omar Havana / Phnom Penh — On June 6th, the faces of the residents of the White Building showed the sadness of what were their..
VISUAL STORY

The Angkor Hell

By Omar Havana / Siem Reap — Just a few dozen kilometers away from the world-famous Angkor temples, about 300 people have lived for the..
VISUAL STORY

La Vie En Jaune

By Omar Havana / Paris, — Hundreds of thousands of “Gilet Jaunes” (meaning “Yellow Vest” in French) have..
Join us
for more access