Auction horses ‘unsafe to eat’

Auction horses ‘unsafe to eat’

by Carmen Weld | Story: 132381 – Feb 6, 2015 / 3:46 pm

Horse_Valley_AuctionAbout 100 horses that formerly belonged to an Armstrong man charged with animal cruelty will be put up for auction this weekend.

Although interest in the auction has been high, there is concern many of the horses will be bought by so-called kill buyers, those who will have the horses sold for meat.

There are no laws against the practice, but the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition is saying the horses are not safe for consumption.

“We have been probing a little bit further, and the owner cannot attest to the fact the horses have not been given prohibited drugs,” says Sinikka Crosland, executive director of The Canadian Horse Defence Coalition. “They can not go to meat buyers; it would be against the law.”

The coalition says it has former owner Gary Roberts on tape, admitting several of the horses have been administered drugs such as Phenylbutazone, which make them unsafe for consumption.

Dr. Ray Kellosalmi with the coalition says he spoke to Roberts himself on his farm and knows many of the horses, if not all, were given these drugs.

“Mr. Roberts told me, number one, that for many of the horses he does not know the history, including the drug history. For the others, he has given those horses one or more drugs that prohibit those horses from legally ever entering the slaughter pipeline.”

He says the rules put in place by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency are meant to protect consumers.

“The CFIA laws clearly state that any horse that has had even one dose of the worse drugs, should prevent that horse from ever ending up on anyone’s dinner plate, because the drugs are so toxic,” says Kellosalmi. “There is evidence in the medical literature that ‘Bute’ is so toxic to humans that it has been linked worldwide to 10,000 human deaths.”

“We have an uncertain history plus a history where we know some horses have had those very toxic drugs,” says Kellosalmi. “Because they have a high risk of being bought by slaughter buyers, they will end up on somebody’s food plate, and that is against the law.”

Kellosalmi says because the owner isn’t even clear on which horses received what treatments, kill buyers must “absent themselves” from the auction.

Earlier this week, Valley Auctions owner Donald J. Raffan told Castanet he did not believe any of the horses would be sold for meat, but Kellosalmi says every auction he has ever been to always ends with leftover horses being sold to meat buyers.

“I have been to hundreds of auctions, and I know that despite the best efforts well-meaning horsey people put in, towards the end of that auction it will be kill buyers picking up those horses. It is almost certain to happen. Except for one thing – that is this the drug connection.”

Kellosalmi says more time should be given to find good homes for the animals.

Horse lovers are expected to crowd into Valley Auctions to buy the horses that formerly belonged to Gary Roberts, who last month was charged with two counts of animal cruelty and one count of uttering threats, after 16 emaciated horses were seized from his property in December.

The auction begins Feb. 7th at 10 a.m.


  1. Prices were very high. Not one of the 77 horses sold went to a slaughter buyer.

  2. So???? now that all these poor horses have been spared and all the hell they have been put thru is now over .And that Mr. Roberts has made a “Huge” profit ,now what ????? . what about the next horse at the next auction. will the turn out be the same, will all the lives of the next horses be spared, the same way we all turned out this time. how did it get this far and why are the profits not being used to end this cruelty , maybe it should have been in trust or something. for the vet bills for these horses if needed. I do not know how much money he made from this but there are dollar figures being printed out there . “Nice business you have going sir” . I am sure he was trying to help the horses?? he seemed very sympathetic and sorry for the state of the horses and if his intentions where good ,why were there stallions in with the mares and fillies. I hope that everyone who purchased a horse yesterday enjoys them and cherishes them and makes them one of the family for the next 20-30yrs.Thank you to all that had a part in the lives of these horses.

  3. Somebody had got to save this horse’s.
    Going from neglect at one kill buyer and now to auction and into the hands of another kill buyer.
    When this going to stop.
    Horse’s are not supposed to be eaten. They were not the created for this purpose.

  4. I hope all of these horses end up with good homes after what happened to them they deserve it.

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