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Banham abattoir under investigation over slaughter of horses

Norfolk Meat Traders'''PICTURE: Mecha Morton
Norfolk Meat Traders'''PICTURE: Mecha Morton

A south Norfolk abattoir is being investigated by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) over the killing of horses.

Norfolk Meat Traders, of Banham, is currently not operating as a slaughterhouse while the investigation takes place.

The FSA was due to go to Norwich Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday in relation to horse meat that was unfit for human consumption.

But it said the matter had been withdrawn, and added the hearing was “no longer deemed necessary” in a statement.

A spokesman for the FSA said: “Animal welfare is a top priority for the FSA and we take appropriate action against any businesses and individuals who breach the strict rules that should be followed in all approved abattoirs.

“Norfolk Meat Traders Ltd are under investigation by the FSA and are not currently operating as a slaughterhouse.

“As this is the subject of potential legal action, we are unable to provide further information.”

Norfolk Meat Traders operates on the same site as the former Simply Halal business.

That had its operations suspended May last year by the FSA, after concerns were raised over the welfare of animals and an investigation was launched.

Later that month, seven members of staff at Simply Halal were suspended at the site as part of its investigations.

Slaughter operations resumed at the site after a new company, Norfolk Meat Traders, was approved by the FSA in October 2016.

They told the Diss Express that none of the slaughtermen or animal welfare officers employed by Norfolk Meat Traders were implicated in the welfare abuse at Simply Halal.

Deborah Wilson, who formerly worked at Simply Halal and was a former director at the company, is listed as a current director of Norfolk Meat Traders.

Norfolk Meat Traders could not be reached for a comment.

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