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Slaughterhouse Owner Fined in Horsemeat Case

March 24, 2015
Food

horsesA slaughterhouse’s owner and manager from Todmorden in West Yorkshire have become the first to be prosecuted in relation to the 2013 horsemeat scandal. Prosecutor Kevin Hansford told Southwark Crown Court that documents produced for a routine inspection of the premises were ‘intended to deceive’, the lack of proper records making it impossible to trace the source or destination of horsemeat.

Slaughterhouse owner Peter Boddy was found guilty of a failure to keep adequate records to allow the provenance of meat to be traced, receiving an £8,000 fine with £10,442 legal costs. He sold 55 horse carcasses without keeping records of where they were going, claiming 37 had been sold to Italian restaurants in the north of England. Manager David Moss was given a four month suspended prison sentence after being found guilty of falsifying an invoice for horses sold in February 2013.

Jason Feeney, the FSA’s chief operating officer, told Food Safety News: “We are pleased with the successful conclusion of this prosecution. The rules on food traceability are there to protect consumers and legitimate businesses. Criminal activity like this across Europe contributed to the horsemeat incident. Consumers need to know that their food is what it says it is on the label. FSA continues to support the ongoing investigations into the incident.”

The trial of Dutch meat trader Willy Selten, who denies substituting horsemeat for beef leading to a 50,000 ton recall of European meat, begins in Den Bosch today. Dutch authorities believe Selten was at the centre of a ring that involved horsemeat from England, Ireland and Holland being processed and sold as beef.