Could Okanagan horses sent to auction be headed for slaughter?

The B.C. SPCA is investigating after discovering numerous horses on a farm in B.C.'s Interior that were malnourished and near death.

100 horses being put up for auction after seizure of 16 emaciated animals from Armstrong farm in December

One of 16 emaciated horses seized from an Armstrong farm by the BC SPCA in January. (BC SPCA)

Just weeks after a judge ordered an Okanagan rancher to give up his horses, concerns are being raised they could end up at a slaughter house.

In December, the BC SPCA seized 16 emaciated horses from a farm in Armstrong, B.C. 

Rancher Gary Roberts still had 100 more horses on his farm, but a judge ordered him to give up the rest.

Maple Ridge horse rescuer Amy Lizee with ​J&M Acres Horse Rescue is worried many of them could be headed for slaughter.

"A lot of kill-buyers attend auctions because they get horses really cheap and they can turn and flip them and make good coin on them for meat price," she said.

The BC SPCA said seized horses had body conditions ranging from .5 to 1.5 out of nine. A spokeswoman said .5 "doesn't even hit the scale." (BC SPCA)

Lizee and others in the equine community have been spreading word of the auction hoping to raise awareness and find new homes for all of the horses.

"The community in B.C. needs to step up for these animals," she said.

Don Raffan with Valley Auctions in Armstrong says he's getting dozens of calls about the animals.

"There's a lot of really good horses here that need a chance," he said. "They are good quality horses. There is no question and they are well bred."

Raffan says he's confident all the horses will find new homes on ranches and farms.

The auction is set for this Saturday at Valley Auctions at 903 Raffan Road, Armstrong, B.C.

On mobile? Click here for a map of the auction location

With files from Brady Strachan

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