The owner of a Welsh meat processing plant which is being investigated for mislabelling horse as beef denies doing anything wrong.
Dafydd Raw-Rees, the owner of Farmbox Meats Ltd in Llandre, Aberystwyth, told ITV News:
– Dafydd Raw-Rees, the owner of Farmbox Meats Ltd
I haven't done anything wrong. The authorities know the meat was going to be sent to Belgium. I haven't hidden anything.
Mr Raw-Rees said that he has bought the beef from the abattoir in Yorkshire, which is also being investigated by the FSA.
The Environment Secretary Owen Paterson today issued the following Written Ministerial statement to Parliament:
“I wish to update the House on an important development since my oral statement on horsemeat on 11 February.
”As part of its audit of all horse abattoirs in the UK and ongoing investigation into the mislabelling of meat products, the Food Standards Agency, supported by the police, yesterday entered two meat premises. One was in West Yorkshire and the other in West Wales.
The FSA are looking into the circumstances through which meat products, purporting to be beef for kebabs and burgers, were sold when they included horsemeat. They will involve the police further as necessary.
”The plant in West Yorkshire is Peter Boddy Licensed Slaughterhouse, Todmorden, which is believed to have supplied horse carcasses to Farmbox Meats Ltd, Llandre, Aberystwyth.
”West Yorkshire and Dyfed-Powys police entered the premises with the FSA. The FSA has suspended operations at both these plants while their investigations continue. The FSA has detained all meat found and seized paperwork, including customer lists from the two companies.
”The FSA are in the process of establishing the customers of the Welsh business so that the necessary action can be taken to recall and recover products sold that may be contaminated. They will then notify customers.
"Both the slaughterhouse and the business in Wales have a legitimate trade in horsemeat, but investigations so far indicate that horsemeat has been used in UK produce as though it is beef.
”As I told the House yesterday, it is totally unacceptable if any business in the UK is found to be defrauding the public by passing off horsemeat as beef.
"The FSA will continue to work closely with the police and if there is any evidence of criminal activity, I will expect the full force of the law to be brought down on anyone involved."
A mid Wales company has been raided by the Food Standards Agency as part of an investigation into the mis-labelling of food products. Rob Osborne reports.
Environment secretary Owen Paterson says it was "shocking" that the practice of passing horse meat into beef products in the UK.
Both of the meat businesses raided by the Food Standards Agency this evening have denied any wrongdoing, according to media reports.
The Conservatives say that after today's raid on Farmbox meats at Llandre, the Welsh Government must do all it can to restore public confidence in Welsh produce.
– Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs Antoinette Sandbach AM
It is vital that Welsh Ministers work closely with the UK Government to keep the public fully informed and stamp out illegal and deceptive practices. The public must have confidence that the food they purchase is safe and accurately labelled so everyone knows what they are buying.
Both the Operations Director of the Food Standards Agency and the UK Environment Secretary have spoken of their shock following the raids in West Yorkshire and at Llandre in Ceredigion.
– FSA Director of Operations Andrew Rhodes
I ordered a an audit of all horse producing abattoirs in the UK after this issue first arose last month and I was shocked to uncover what appears to be a blatant misleading of consumers. I have suspended both plants immediately while our investigations continue.
– Environment Secretary Owen Paterson MP
This is absolutely shocking. It's totally unacceptable if any business in the UK is defrauding the public by passing off horse meat as beef. I expect the full force of the law to be brought down on anyone involved in this kind of activity.
I have just spoken to the abattoir owner in Yorkshire. He says it is a complete surprise the FSA have visited his site. The owner says he has a license to slaughter horses and denies any wrong-doing.
The Welsh Government says it is working on a swift response to the raid on Farmbox meats at Llandre near Aberystwyth.
– Deputy Minister for Agriculture Alun Davies AM
Integrity and trust are essential in the food chain, I would be appalled if these allegations are proven. The Welsh Government is working closely with DEFRA and the FSA to ensure this matter is dealt with swiftly and decisively.