Monday 23 October 2017

Pig exporter probed over health certs

Maeve Sheehan

Maeve Sheehan

AN Irish pig processor is being investigated by gardai and the Department of Agriculture after it was discovered some of its products were to be exported on suspect documents.

The investigation began more than a year ago after a department inspection highlighted irregularities in certificates that products or animals were free of disease and up to standard.

Further examination suggested that some of the certificates may have been forged.

The Department of Agriculture referred the matter to the garda fraud bureau and an investigation is ongoing. The plant continues to operate as normal.

The department declined to respond to questions about the investigation this weekend. It stated: "Your query refers to a continuing investigation on which the department has no further comment."

News of the investigation comes at a fraught time for the Irish meat processors; the pig sector is recovering from the dioxin scandal of four years ago and the beef sector is currently reeling from the horse meat scandal.

It is not known whether the investigation is into a one-off incident. Nor it is it known how many animals or animal products were covered by the suspect certificates or whether any were actually exported on foot of those documents.

Irish Independent

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