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Meat Plants Raided over Supply of Horse Meat

13 February 2013

UK - As part of its ongoing investigation into the mislabelling of meat products, the UK Food Standards Agency and police raided two meat plants, one in West Yorkshire and the other in West Wales.

The plant in West Yorkshire is Peter Boddy Licensed Slaughterhouse, Todmorden, West Yorkshire, and the FSA believe it supplied horse carcasses to Farmbox Meats Ltd, Llandre, Aberystwyth.

The Agency and the police said they are looking into the circumstances through which meat products, purporting to be beef for kebabs and burgers, were sold when they were in fact horse.

The FSA has suspended operations at both these plants.

Both West Yorkshire and Dyfed-Powys police have entered the premises with the FSA.

The FSA has detained all meat found and seized paperwork, including customer lists from the two companies.

Andrew Rhodes, FSA Director of Operations, said: "I ordered an audit of all horse producing abattoirs in the UK after this issue first arose last month and I was shocked to uncover what appears to be a blatant misleading of consumers. I have suspended both plants immediately while our investigations continue."

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson (pictured) said: "This is absolutely shocking. It’s totally unacceptable if any business in the UK is defrauding the public by passing off horsemeat as beef. I expect the full force of the law to be brought down on anyone involved in this kind of activity."

Alun Davies, Welsh Government Minister for Agriculture, said: "Integrity and trust are essential in the food chain. I would be appalled if these allegations are proven. The Welsh Government is working closely with Defra and the FSA to ensure this matter is dealt with swiftly and decisively."

Both plants are reported to have denied any wrong doing.

Today, Wednesday, Mr Paterson was meeting with European ministers to discuss the situation which has hit the meat sector across Europe.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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