'Illegal slaughterhouse' discovered

Published Monday, 03 March 2014
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A suspected illegal animal slaughterhouse has been discovered in south Armagh.

'Illegal slaughterhouse' discovered
The scene of the suspected illegal slaughterhouse. (© UTV)

The find was made during an multi-agency investigation to target agricultural crime and "protect the safety of the food chain."

It was launched in the Newry and Mourne area on Monday morning.

Searches were carried out at two properties in Forkhill and one in the Bessbrook area.

A number of items were seized for examination during the Forkhill searches. Nothing was found during the Bessbrook raid, police have confirmed.

Maria Jennings, Director of the Food Standards Agency in Northern Ireland, confirmed that "suspected illegal animal slaughter and meat cutting operations" had been found.

"The FSA is working closely with the PSNI and all relevant authorities, including DARD and the district Council on this investigation - in order to stop further production at this plant and to protect the safety of the food chain.

"The information we have tells us that meat was being produced illegally, without official hygiene checks.

"We are currently investigating which businesses have been supplied with meat from the plant and we will provide further information once we have it."

Chief Inspector Davy Beck, PSNI Area Commander, said investigations are at an early stage.

A police statement released on Monday afternoon said: "Police enquiries into this matter are continuing with partner agencies. Anyone with information is asked to contact police in Newry on 0845 600 8000."

© UTV News
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8 Comments
Farmer in North Antrim wrote (239 days ago):
Did I miss the Agriculture ministers comments on this?
Mark in Belfast wrote (240 days ago):
Why is no-one ever arrested and charged when these farm buildings in south Armagh are raided? on a regular basis diesel laundering plants are raided in this area yet no-one is ever arrested. Why ???
patto69 in Belfast wrote (240 days ago):
The Agri Food Industry is critical to the financial well being of this island. Those caught involved in this activity are guilty of economic sabotage and should be jailed for a very long time.
Belfast in Belfast wrote (241 days ago):
I am very concerned to hear once again about dangers in the food chain. What proper checks were done by the buyers of these meat products to ensure public safety. I hope these gangs are named and fully exposed .Is this organised crime gang from another country ? It is in the public interest to be given the full facts. All praise to those who uncovered this horrible establishment. I can't bear to think of the possible suffering these poor animals went through. I hope these scum bags get what they deserve and the buyers also are severely dealth with. I look forward to what justice the court hands out Concerned tax payer
James in Comber wrote (241 days ago):
It seems Co Armagh is a law onto it's self. Illegal fuel laundering, animal rustling, now an illegal slaughterhouse. What's the authorities doing apart from asking people to report anything to the PSNI. It's about time the PSNI got the grips of this and name and shame those who are involved in this criminal activity. Get it sorted!!!
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