05. March 2020

Australia | Horsemeat imports: Interview with informant Kathrin

We are talking to informant Kathrin about her two yearlings that were wrongfully slaughtered at Meramist abattoir.

We meet informant Kathrin (name changed), who wishes to remain anonymous. She tells us the story of how a woman acted as a front to obtain her two yearlings Peach and Archie by deception for a kill buyer.

Due to health problems, Kathrin decided to rehome her yearlings Peach and Archie to a good new home. A woman in Queensland had promised to look after them, but if she ever could not keep them, they would be sent back to Kathrin. For Peach she paid half the price, and no money was paid for Archie. Kathrin only knew the woman from the internet but thought she could trust her with her yearlings. However, after the woman had the yearlings four days at her farm, she got a kill buyer to collect them  and gave him clear instructions to have them slaughtered. Five days later, both yearlings were killed at the Meramist abattoir.

Kathrin tells us that the police in Queensland accessed both Peach and Archie's vendor declarations from Meramist. The documents were signed by the woman who bought them and contained fraudulent information: They stated that she had bred the two yearlings, and that neither of them had any drugs in their system during the last six months. Even though the horses were only in her possession for just four days. Moreover, Peach had been given phenylbutazone for eight weeks to treat a leg injury. The treatment ended only four weeks before slaughter and the buyer knew this. Correspondingly, there was a high risk for drug residues in the meat of Kathrin’s yearling that had been wrongfully slaughtered at Meramist abattoir.

Kathrin tells us that the anti-inflammatory pain killer phenylbutazone, known as ‘bute’, is commonly administered to horses in Australia, not only to racehorses. It is written on the label that ‘bute’ must not to be used in horses intended for human consumption.