Environment Secretary: "This criminal activity should be stopped"
Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson MP, has said that buying something labelled beef which ends up being horse meat is "fraud".
Speaking at the NFU conference in Birmingham, where one thousand farmers have gathered, he also told listeners "we must ensure the British public have confidence in the industry and what they're eating".
1,000 farmers have gathered at the NFU conference in Birmingham to discuss what has been described as "a diabolical year".
Farmers across the region have been facing a whole number of problems - drought, floods, tuberculosis, HS2 running through their farms and the horse meat scandal.
They've heard how more food will have to be produced in England instead of being imported from other countries, because our population could increase by the equivalent size of "four Birmingham's" in the next eight years.
Farmers from across the Midlands have been talking to ITV News Central.
Environment Secretary tells conference badger cull will help
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson today told farmers a badger cull would help prevent the spread of bovine TB:
"Bovine TB is spreading at an alarming rate and causing real devastation to our beef and dairy industry.
"The authorisation letters issued today confirming culling can proceed this summer in West Gloucestershire and West Somerset is an important step towards taking the action we need to tackle the spread of this disease in wildlife."
Peter Kendall, the NFU president is addressing farmers from across the UK at the anual National Farmers Union conference at Birmingham's ICC this morning. He says it has been a 'diabolical year' for farming.
Mr Kendall says Britain needs greater self sufficiency in food production and that England's population will have to grow by more than four million people within eight years. He said:
"That's more than four Birmingham's worth of extra mouths to feed."
Farmers have come to Birmingham for the conference to discuss issue that have affected them in the past year.
The recent horsemeat scandal is high on the agenda as well as prices of animal feed and the recent bad weather affecting crop.
NFU boss: Farmers 'furious' about horsemeat scandal
The head of the National Farmers' Union (NFU) has said farmers are "furious" about the horsemeat scandal.
Peter Kendall said that shorter supply chains and better labelling of British meat would help prevent a repeat.
He added: "Our research also demonstrates the strong demand for British-farmed products, and so retailers, processors and food service companies have a responsibility to ensure there is clear country of origin labelling on the products that consumers purchase."