The Department of Agriculture was warned as early as June 2011 about the possibility of meat slaughtered horses entering the food chain, according to documents obtained by a Sunday newspaper.
According to a story in yesterday's Sunday Times, the Department was alerted to irregularities in the horse slaughtering industry back in the summer of 2011, when a report by its auditing unit recommended tightening the regulations governing the issuing of equine 'passports'.
That report also recommended an increase in the number of abattoir tests, to ensure that horse meat was not entering the food chain.
The newspaper also revealed that FSAI chief executive Alan Reilly wrote to the Department's chief veterinary officer, Martin Blake, in May 2012, saying that "it seemed economic gains are acting as an incentive for illegal activity in the horse meat trade."
The FSAI has consistently denied that it had evidence of horse meat being used in beef production, prior to the publishing of tests in January of this year.
© 2013 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones