76-year-old farmer could get $391,000 boarding bill after animal police took his cattle
PETERBOROUGH — Beef farmer Walter Ray, 76, remained on tenterhooks awaiting an adjudicator’s ruling on a whopping sum of almost $400,000 for animal boarding fees and transportation costs after Ontario’s animal police took 101 cattle from his Warsaw farm before Christmas.
Ray was not charged with any offence and is not alleged to have mistreated his animals.
Supporter John Lunn recently told Farmers Forum that Provincial Animal Welfare Services (PAWS) substantially increased its demand from Ray — beyond the $144,000 sought when an Animal Care Review Board adjudicator heard the farmer’s appeal in late March.
Adjudicator Susan Clarke had yet to make a decision as of Aug. 3, more than four months after the appeal hearing.
Bob Scriven, Ray’s lawyer, clarified that PAWS wanted Ray to pay just over $391,000 by that point in time.
Ray maintains that PAWS should have sent his cattle to market at the first opportunity, after seizing them last December, rather than rack up months of care costs at foster farms. PAWS ultimately agreed to allow the animals’ sale in April.
Approximately $76,000 rendered at the sale is held by PAWS, also pending the adjudicator’s ruling.