independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

Horse meat scandal – 21 held in France

Marseille' State Prosecutor Brice Robin, right, and Lieutenant-Colonel Patrick Bourguignon of the National Gendarmerie, speak with media during a press conference, in Marseille, southern France, Monday, Dec. 16, 2013. Meat from horses used in laboratory procedures was sold as fit for human consumption and landed on French dinner tables. Officers from France's National Gendarmerie, accompanied by food safety and veterinary investigators, carried out raids in 11 regions in southern France before dawn, arresting 21 people. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Marseille' State Prosecutor Brice Robin, right, and Lieutenant-Colonel Patrick Bourguignon of the National Gendarmerie, speak with media yesterday

MEAT from dozens of horses that were used by a French pharmaceutical firm to develop serums against rabies and other diseases is believed to have reached the food chain in France it has emerged.

Police arrested 21 people, including meat dealers, butchers and vets, in various locations in the south of France as part of a vast probe into the allegations.

The raids followed a tip-off which said that around 200 horses – including at least 60 that had been owned by pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur – had been sold to abattoirs since May 2011 with falsified veterinary papers.

More than 100 officers swooped on several Sanofi offices and at various abattoirs, including one in Gerona in northern Spain.

Among those arrested were four vets and several meat dealers, including one based in Narbonne, in southwestern France who is suspected of being the ringleader of the illicit trade, police sources said.

A computer programmer was also arrested on suspicion of doctoring the horses’ digital health certificates to make them read “fit for human consumption”.

The latest arrests came months after a Europe-wide health scare earlier this year in which horse meat was found in millions of ready meals labelled as containing only beef.

While the previous scandal, involved fraud, Benoit Hamon, the French consumer affairs minister, said the latest episode was potentially more worrying due to sanitary concerns.

Telegraph.co.uk

Also in this Section

Classifieds

CarsIreland

Independent Shopping.ie

Meet, chat and connect with
singles in your area

Independent Shopping.ie

Meet Singles Now

Findajob

Apps

Now available on

Independent.ie on Twitter

More

Most Read

Independent Gallery

Your photos

Send us your weather photos promo

Celebrity News