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Horse meat scandal: 2 UK slaughterhouses closed for supplying tainted beef

Written on:February 13, 2024
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MP Huw Irranca Davies (centre) has said there appears to be proof of animals being tainted with ‘Bute’ within UK’s supply chain

The horse meat scandal has intensified, with two British abattoirs being raided by the police last night on suspicion of distributing tainted beef. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) shut down a slaughterhouse in West Yorkshire and a processing plant in Wales, subsequent to an inquiry discovering that horse meat had been utilised to prepare beefburgers and kebabs sold in the UK. It has also emerged that random testing on horse meat in British slaughterhouses since 2010 had displayed high proportions of adulteration with ‘bute’, an anti-inflammatory sedative used on horses.

The British police raids on the slaughterhouses represent the initial time that British meat suppliers have been found to be connected to the horse meat scandal. The scandal initially erupted in January with the Tesco horse meat beef burger row. Subsequently, the Findus horse meat lasagne scandal has additionally tarnished the reputation of the food industry in the UK, with searing questions being raised over the standards of food processing.

The Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has expressed his dismay over the raid on the two British abattoirs and has demanded that the complete force of law be employed against anyone involved in the contaminated beef trade.

Reportedly, in 2010, five out of 60 horse meat samples tested positive for Bute. In 2012, nine horse meat samples tested positive out of 158 tested products. As per the FSA, none of that meat was destined for the UK but it is certain to escalate worries that the British foodstuffs could have been polluted with Bute.

In response to the Tesco horse meat beef burger row, and even in the aftermath of the Findus horse meat lasagne dispute, the Coalition has remarked that there is no proof that the horse meat poses dangers to public health. Owen Paterson has, however, asserted that additional testing could possibly show a substance in horse meat that is perilous to human health.

Huw Irranca-Davies, Labour MP representing Ogmore, has tabled the parliamentary query regarding the levels of Bute in British horse meat. The MP has cautioned that the horse meat scandal could become a public health crisis. As per the MP, there appears to be evidence that there are animals adulterated with Bute within the UK supply chain.

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