Raided UK abattoir has Aintree contract
The Peter Boddy slaughterhouse in Todmorden, West Yorkshire, which was raided as part of the police inquiry into the sale of horsemeat being sold as beef. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
The owner of an abattoir caught up in the horse meat scandal is contracted to remove fatally injured horses from the Grand National, it emerged today.
Peter Boddy, whose slaughterhouse in West Yorkshire was raided by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) on Tuesday, removes the carcasses of some horses which have been put down during the world famous meeting, Aintree Racecourse said.
The Liverpool racecourse said it was “confident” no unfit meat had entered the food chain.
In a statement, a spokesman for Aintree said: “The racing industry takes every possible course of action to ensure that horses, fatally injured on a racecourse, cannot enter the food chain.
“Pro-active and considered measures are in place to prevent this, such as passport identification backed up by a sticker on the passport and close liaison with licensed disposal organisations.
“Aintree Racecourse follow these guidelines to the letter and can confirm that Peter Boddy, who has been mentioned in newspaper reports, is contracted by Aintree to remove carcasses if required.
“By the time these carcasses are returned to the disposal organisation’s premises they are totally unsuitable for consumption.
“They are fully signed off as unsuitable.
“Indeed it is illegal for horses humanely put down by injection on the racecourse to enter the food chain.
“We are as confident as we possibly can be that no unfit meat ever reaches the human food chain.”
During last year’s Grand National race joint favourite Synchronised and According to Pete were both put down following falls.
Four horses died at the meeting in 2011, including Dooneys Gate and Ornais during the big race itself.
The British Horseracing Authority added: “The British Racing industry is among the most strictly regulated of all equine activities and sports.
“This includes a range of checks and balances for horses after they leave the sport.
“Since 2000 every thoroughbred registered in Britain has had a microchip enabling each and every horse to be identified. All racehorses are also issued with their own equine passport containing information including where appropriate their lack of
suitability for consumption.”
The Peter Boddy Slaughterhouse, in Todmorden, and Farmbox Meats in Aberystwyth, West Wales, became the first UK suppliers suspected of passing off horse meat for beef when they were raided by the FSA and police on Tuesday.
Production at both plants was suspended pending the outcome of investigations into claims they supplied and used horse carcasses in meat products purporting to be beef for burgers and kebabs.
The FSA said it had “detained” all meat found at the premises and seized paperwork and customer lists from the two companies.
Mr Boddy said today he had “no comment at the moment”.
Speaking yesterday to ITV, he said he would co-operate with FSA officers and claimed they had not “raided” his premises.
“It was not a raid - they are welcome to visit whenever they want, they just wanted to see my records which I will be showing them.”