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26 Arrests so far in Horsemeat Crackdown

April 28, 2015
Food

An investigation by police from seven European countries into a horsemeat trafficking ring has resulted in 26 arrests. The European Union’s judicial agency Eurojust co-ordinated the action and confirmed that the group were accused of “falsification, suppression and/or modification of official health documentation,”to introduce horsemeat unfit for human consumption into the food chain.

A number of private and commercial premises were searched as part of the operation, with 800 horse passports, medication, microchips, computer equipment and £26,000 in cash being seized. More than 200 police officers, including some from the UK and Ireland were involved in the investigation, which started in November 2012. Eurojust officials refused to comment on any connection to the 2013 horsemeat scandal which resulted in the removal of thousands of meat products from supermarket shelves across Europe.

Officials have failed to rule out the possibility of more arrests, saying that the investigation is ‘ongoing’.

French authorities estimate that between 2010 and 2013 some 4,700 horses unfit for human consumption were slaughtered for the food trade. Last month, Yorkshire abattoir boss Peter Boddy was fined £8,000 after admitting one count of failing to abide by EU meat traceability regulations. His abattoir manager David Moss received a suspended sentence after admitting forging an invoice concerning the number of horses sold in a transaction.