Last updated on 12 February 2013
FSA raids meat plant involved in alleged supply of horse meat
As part of its ongoing investigation into the mislabelling of meat products, the FSA and police today entered two meat premises, one in West Yorkshire and the other in West Wales.
I have suspended both plants immediately so they can no longer supply food on to the market, while our investigations continue.
The plant in West Yorkshire is Peter Boddy Licensed Slaughterhouse, Todmorden, West Yorkshire, and we believe it supplied horse carcasses to Farmbox Meats Ltd*, Llandre, Aberystwyth. The Agency and the police 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 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.'
* For anyone wanting to return meat to Farmbox please dial the following out of hours numbers in Ceredigion;
Heddwyn Evans or Anne-Louise Davies – 01970 625277