VIDEO: Horses And Live Export from the UK

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“Firstly I must apologise for the lack of posts… I’ve been in a lot of pain….but hope to get posting more news stories again soon; so please bear with me!” (MY sincere apologies if some post are a bit disjointed…drugs play havoc with my brain!!) so I hope all myposts will make sense…if the don’t…you know why!!”

“Please email DEFRA now, and tell Lord De Mauley that laws which are not enforced are not worth the paper on which they’re printed (Email already written) just fill in your details to send:-http://www.worldhorsewelfare.org/Live-Export-from-the-UK Please also contact your MP (Letter already done) which will pop up after your email to Defra!

On 10th February the BBC’s Inside Out programme revealed the shocking results of World Horse Welfare’s largest ongoing investigation, uncovering evidence that horses and ponies are being exported through Britain’s ports to uncertain fates on the Continent.

Keeping tabs on Live Export of Horses

It will show that an unknown number of horses and ponies are leaving Britain’s shores under the pretence that they are for leisure or sport – but may in fact be sold for slaughter.

We have been investigating the movement of horses into and out of the UK, including reports of possible export for slaughter, for several years and have always passed any information that we have onto the proper authorities at the earliest opportunity.

Unfortunately it has become clear that in many cases, proper preventative action from the authorities and enforcement of the law was simply not taking place despite the information that we were providing, and that horses and ponies were being left very vulnerable to abuse as a result.

Our investigations have found that horses and ponies are leaving our ports without any checks on their welfare or their paperwork. It is impossible to know whether the laws protecting them are being complied with. 

Horses waiting for death!

These movements are not small or insignificant: over just one weekend of monitoring we saw more than 90 horse boxes – a number of which could carry more than 20 equinesleaving and entering the port of Dover.

World Horse Welfare is calling for the legislation meant to protect our most vulnerable horses and ponies from indiscriminate export to be properly enforced as a matter of urgency. We want to help the enforcement agencies to protect horses and ponies, by continuing to provide intelligence and expertise as we have done in the past.

PLEASE WATCH THE FOLLOWING VIDEO TO UNDERSTAND HOW HORSES ARE BEING TRANSPORTED.!!

P&O Ferries actually stopped a vehicle carrying horse; after checking the vehicle P&O said the horses were not fit to travel….KUDOS to P&O…without whom the horses could have shipped to slaughter!!

Post from P&O Ferries:Service with a conscience

Can we ship livestock on your vessels?
Yes, we can ship livestock on our Dover-Calais and Irish Sea routes, however animal welfare is an issue that concerns us. Hence on our Dover-Calais route we are only prepared to ship breeding livestock and only if booked via the relevant national associations. These livestock must be transported according to DEFRA requirements and accompanied by the correct DEFRA documentation, clearly showing the animals are being shipped for breeding purposes. A surcharge is applied to livestock movements and they will only be shipped on the European Seaway. Please contact the relevant national association for pricing details.

Can we ship horses on your vessels?
Yes, we can ship horses on all our routes (except Dublin – Liverpool, shipments from Tilbury and freight only shipments from Zeebrugge) under the following conditions.

Horses travelling to France MUST be accompanied by either an Export Licence or an AHA certificate AND an equine passport.  Ponies must also be accompanied by a fitness to travel certificate or Health Certificate Horses and ponies travelling with a final destination to countries other than France MUST in addition be accompanied by a Health Certificate. 

Horses or ponies travelling from France to the UK may travel on their equine passports only.  Horses or ponies starting their journey in any country other than France MUST be accompanied in addition by a Health Certificate.

Health Certificates are ONLY valid for 10 days from the date of vets signature (and can only be signed within 48 hrs of departure).  Horses and ponies may return to the originating country on the same health certificate providing it is within 10 days of the vets signature. (day 1 being the day it was signed)

The information detailed above is for guidance only – The responsibility lies with the owner or agent to comply with British and European statutory regulations.

Further information can be obtained by contacting DEFRA.

Find out more by reading our FAQs (Some of which are below), or take action to help these horses today. Or you can make a donation to help keep our teams on the road.

Please email DEFRA now, and tell Lord De Mauley that laws which are not enforced are not worth the paper on which they’re printed….email link here:-http://www.worldhorsewelfare.org/Live-Export-from-the-UK

Email & News Link:http://www.worldhorsewelfare.org/Live-Export-from-the-UK

PLEASE WATCH THE FOLLOWING VIDEO – It Is not graphic!!

Clamping down on UK’s illegal horse traders

Published on 11 Feb 2014

A year after the horsemeat scandal, Inside Out’s David Whiteley investigates the illegal export of live horses from the UK.

The World Horse Welfare charity told Inside Out that it suspects that horses and ponies are being transported freely across Europe as unscrupulous dealers exploit a legal loophole in equine transit.

Under an agreement between France, Ireland and the UK, sports horses can be moved freely but low-value ponies are not covered by the agreement.

David Whiteley joins the World Horse Welfare’s field team as they watch for horse dealers who they suspect are breaking the lawAs well as concerns over equine welfare, there are fears the horses could be destined for slaughterhouses in Europe, raising fears about food safety and human health. But P&O Ferries refused some lorries due to unevaluated passports…i.e fakes passports!  P&O also refused some lorries because some of the horses were not fit to travel!  BUT IT SHOULDN’T BE UP TO PORTS TO REFUSE UNFIT HORSES….it’s obvious those trying to take the lorries abroad care nothing about the welfare of its cargo!!! Kudos to P& O Ferries!!

The government says it has agreed to tighten the rules on horse exports from May.

“I won’t believe anything until I see or read new legislation! The Government wonders why horse meat is getting into human food, it’s because the passports are not checked or are faked, horses are being stolen from fields during the night! Read some of the snippets below from News posts, it just doesn’t add up to me!” especially the parts where they say ‘ One of 5 horse slaughter plants’, which includes one  ‘Ashgrove Meats in Newcastle West’ that was responsible for contaminated horse meat! Then in another post it says ‘ THE only approved horse-slaughtering house in Northern Ireland has stopped killing horses, the Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill has revealed.?????”

Preview of FAQ

Q. What can I do about this?

Please join our calls for proper enforcement! You can email your MPs and Defra Ministers quickly and easily here.

You can also help these horses by sharing any information that you have, anonymously and in complete confidence, via the ‘Tell Us’ pages of our website.

If you would like to make a donation to help keep our teams on the road, you can do so here.

Q. Is live export of horses legal? What are the laws?

A. In some circumstances it can be legal to export horses (for example for breeding or competition). However there is a package of protective legislation in place which should prevent the indiscriminate export of equines for slaughter. Unfortunately it seems that this legislation is not being properly enforced.
The legislation in question includes:

  • The Welfare of Animals in Transport Order: Sets out the conditions for transporting animals, including rest periods, fitness for transport, vehicle standards and documentary requirements.
  • The Animal Welfare Act 2006: (in Scotland, the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006) Sets out the basic principle that animals should not be allowed to suffer unnecessarily, either through human action or inaction.
  • The Equine Identification Regulations: Set out the rules for horse passports.
  • The Tripartite Agreement: Allows the free movement of some horses between France, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. Recently changed – see below.
  • The Animal Health Act 1981 (Minimum Values) Sets out the minimum value that certain types of equine should have if they are to be exported (see below).

Q. I thought exporting horses for slaughter had been banned years ago?

A. There is a package of legislation in place, including an Act which should have limited the export of equines to protect working horses, ponies, mules and donkeys from export for slaughter. This was brought in as a result of the work of our founder, Ada Cole, and has been improved over the years as a result of our subsequent work as a charity. However, it seems likely that a lack of effective enforcement has led to exports for slaughter taking place under the radar of enforcement agencies. We have gathered evidence and passed this on to the relevant authorities.

Q. What happens to the horses while they are being transported and after they leave the UK?

A. We can’t be sure of what will happen to these horses, but we strongly suspect that some of them will be slaughtered. Some of them are taken to markets where they will be sold for various purposes, including slaughter.  We also strongly believe that they will not be transported in good conditions, either when they leave the UK or on subsequent journeys after they arrive in Europe, and that their welfare will not be respected. The animals in question have a low financial value, making it uneconomic to export them unless corners are cut – which will compromise their welfare.

Q. What is the Tripartite Agreement (TPA) and does this affect these horses?

A. The Tripartite Agreement is a long-standing agreement between France, the UK and the Republic of Ireland to allow horses to move freely between these three countries without the need for animal health certification. This meant that horses could move over these borders without health checks, and without any traceability which posed significant welfare and disease risks. Originally applied only to Registered horses (such as a racehorses), it was extended in 2005 to apply to all horses, other than those moving directly to slaughter. We have been calling for it to be changed ever since, to prevent unscrupulous individuals from falsely declaring that they are moving horses for legitimate reasons then transporting the animals to slaughter abroad.

Happily our calls have recently been successful, and the Chief Veterinary Officers of France, Ireland and the UK have signed a new agreement which means that horses moving between France and the UK, and France and Ireland, will no longer be able to move freely unless they are ‘high-health horses’ – meaning registered FEI or race horses. Moreover these movements will be required to be logged, providing much-needed traceability.  Movement of horses between the UK and Ireland will be unaffected, as Ireland and the UK share the same official health status (determining which diseases are present and absent from a country), making a change impractical.

The details are yet to be decided, but we are very pleased that such a positive step has been taken to protect horses. The crucial thing now is that the details must be decided upon and these changes must be enforced when the revised agreement comes into force in May 2014. We will be working alongside Defra and the rest of the equine industry to finalize the details and to communicate the changes to horse owners.

Q. What does ‘Minimum Values’ mean and what does it mean for the export of horses and ponies?

A. By law horses and ponies must have a financial value above a certain amount in order for them to be exported overseas. This helps protect equines of a lower market value from being exported for slaughter, as the price for their meat should be less than the price of the horse or pony. However, with the lack of basic checks of welfare and documentation at ports, there is no way to know whether this law is actually being complied with.

Q. What about horses being imported into the UK?A. There are certainly equal, if not even greater reasons to be concerned about horses being imported into the UK. These horses may well have come from environments where serious diseases are present that we do not currently have in the UK. A lack of enforcement can make it difficult to trace where the horses came from, or where they went, if disease breaks out. In 2010, Britain had its first ever cases of equine infectious anaemia since 1976 when the disease was found in two horses that had been imported from mainland Europe. More cases were reported later the same year and in 2012, all in imported horses. Tracing the other horses that had travelled with the affected animals was a long and complex process.

Equally importantly, the welfare of imported horses may not be respected, with unfit horses being transported over long distances, and little or no enforcement to protect them. Any low-value animal may be vulnerable to this sort of abuse, whether it is entering the UK or leaving it.

The changes to the Tripartite Agreement should help with this issue to some extent, but only so long as they are enforced properly.Take action to help these horses today!

Link for FAQ;-http://www.worldhorsewelfare.org/live-export-FAQs

A NEWCASTLE West livestock factory is one of only five facilities in Ireland licensed to slaughter horses for meat, it has been confirmed.

The Ashgrove Meats facility in Churchtown has been slaughtering horses and exporting their meat for consumption in mainland Europe for the past three years. It is the only facility licensed to do so in Munster.

Ashgrove Meats is the only plant in Munster which slaughters horses for meat

Link:-http://www.limerickleader.ie/news/local-news/meat-from-horses-with-forged-passports-recalled-by-limerick-abattoir-1-4748132

Related Snippets Of Interest:-2/02/2013 Meat From Horses With Forged Passports Recalled By Limerick Abattoir

THE FOOD Safety Authority (FSA) has concluded an investigation after horses with forged passports were slaughtered for meat at a county Limerick abattoir.

It has been confirmed that meat from two Irish horses which had been exported to Italy had to be recalled after officials discovered that the animals had forged documentation.

The horses had been slaughtered at Ashgrove Meats in Newcastle Westone of only five facilities in Ireland licensed to kill horses for meat.

Under regulations, all horses slaughtered for meat in Ireland have to have a verifiable passport to ensure that they have not been in contact with substances which may be harmful to humans.

Link:-http://www.limerickleader.ie/news/local-news/meat-from-horses-with-forged-passports-recalled-by-limerick-abattoir-1-4748132

Related Snippets Of Interest:- 14/04/2013 NI’s Only Horse Slaughtering House Stops

THE only approved horse-slaughtering house in Northern Ireland has stopped killing horses, the Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill has revealed.

She explained that the Armagh plant asked the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to remove its authorisation and stopped killing horses at the end of January.

“There was one slaughter plant in County Armagh approved by the FSA for equine slaughter,” she explained.

“This establishment is also approved for the slaughter of cattle and sheep. It ceased slaughtering horses completely on 25th January 2013 and has asked the FSA to completely remove their authorisation to slaughter equines.”

She said this was the only establishment approved by the FSA to slaughter horses in Northern Ireland in recent times.

Link:-http://www.londonderrysentinel.co.uk/news/business/business-news/ni-s-only-horse-slaughtering-house-stops-1-4974741

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Spain Moves To Give Bullfighting Special Cultural Status: Petitions to sign against Bullfighting

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“This is bad news my friends! Please sign petitions below & share widely, only our voices collectively joined, can help stop this heinous brutality; a bloody sport, disguised as tradition!”

Spanish MPs have voted to consider giving bullfighting special cultural status – a move that could overturn regional bans on the age-old tradition

The number of bullfights each year is falling in Spain

In a 180-40 vote, the parliament backed a petition signed by 590,000 people.

If the idea becomes law, it may roll back the ban in Spain’s regions of Catalonia and the Canary Islands.

It may also provide tax breaks for promoters of bullfighting (corrida). Opponents describe the tradition of killing animals as barbaric.

‘Barbaric’ tradition

  • Those taking part in the a bullfight are called toreros, while the person in charge of killing the bull is the matador de toros – killer of bulls
  • Fighters can be awarded the bull’s ears, tail or hooves as a trophy
  • Author Ernest Hemingway was an admirer of Spanish bullfighting and wrote about its rituals in 1932 in Death in the Afternoon
  • The tradition dates back at least 4,000 years and is thought to have been popularised by the Romans
  • It remains popular in southern France, Portugal and some South American countries

On Tuesday, the popular petition was easily backed in parliament, where the governing conservative Popular Party (PP) has a majority.

Under the proposal, bullfighting would be promoted by the authorities who would also push the UN to recognise it as part of Spain’s cultural heritage.

A parliamentary commission is now expected to fine-tune proposed legislation and the vote could take place later this year.

The parliamentary vote is an attempt by pro-bullfighting conservatives to keep this controversial tradition alive, the BBC’s Tom Burridge reports.

About 2,000 fights are still held every year in Spain, but the numbers are falling.

Bullfighting was banned last year in Catalonia, in the north-east, with supporters of the measure describing the blood-soaked pageants as barbaric.

The ban in Catalonia was also seen by many Spaniards as an attempt by Catalan nationalists to distinguish the region from the rest of Spain and its traditions.

Bullfighting was also banned in the Canary Islands in 1991.

News Link:-http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-21437314

From the moment the bull enters the ring, he is destined to die. His death will be slow and painful, and the last moments of his life will be full of terror and confusion as he hears the sounds of a jeering crowd. For the bull, bullfighting is no “competition”. It is simply slaughter for human entertainment.

Some links & Petitions to sign against Bullfighting:-

“I think this picture show’s bullfighting at it’s best, when the bull actually gets a chance at the supposed fair fight!”

bull gored 6

With Your Invaluable Support, The League, RSPCA And Other Organisations Will Continue To Oppose The Badger Cull in 2013.

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“Please watch the video below, from last year…then please sign petitions etc. Together we can save the badgers”

The Government’s proposed badger cull, set to go ahead last year was postponed after a sustained and comprehensive campaign that involved numerous organisations, including the League and our supporters, coming together as Team Badger.

Last year over 160,000 people also signed a Government e-petition, far exceeding the 100,000 signatures needed to be considered for a House of Commons debate, which went ahead on 25th October.

The Parliamentary vote against the badger cull was overwhelming: 147 votes to 28 votes, with the majority of MPs agreeing with scientists, animal welfare organisations and the general public, that the cull is wrong and would be ineffective on scientific, humanitarian and practical grounds.

However, the vote is not binding and the Government are still planning to resume culling this summer.

The League, our partner organisations and supporters are committed, therefore, to continue with the campaign to ensure the cull isn’t just postponed, but abandoned for good, in favour of vaccinating badgers and developing an effective bovine TB vaccine.

As part of Team Badger, the League recently submitted evidence to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee inquiry, which is looking into vaccination alternative to culling and is due to report later this year.

Vaccination has already been a proven success in Wales, where over 1,400 badgers have already been protected against bovine TB as part of a five year programme of work to eradicate TB completely. The badger vaccination initiative in Wales reflects the constructive alternative to culling that the League, along with “Team Badger”, is calling for. It also demonstrates the co-operation that is possible between the farming industry and government in taking swift, positive and decisive action against the spread of Bovine TB.

The League, alongside our campaign partners, believes strongly that vaccination of both badgers and cattle and better husbandry are the most effective and long-term way to tackle this terrible disease. Together we successfully came together to ensure badgers had a stay of execution in 2012 and we are now working for a full and permanent pardon in 2013.

What can I do to stop the cull happening this summer?

You should contact your MP to remind them that the badger cull is set to go ahead in summer of 2013. You should ensure that they know the evidence and science against the cull and ask them to make sure they will continue to oppose the cull in 2013.

Link:-http://www.league.org.uk/faq/32/Badger-Cull-FAQs

Keep checking back at this site for more news & next steps to take:- http://www.league.org.uk/content/643/Badger-Cull

Badger cull to begin from June, Environment Secretary confirms

Conservative MP Owen Paterson said that, if successful, the cull aimed at stopping bovine tuberculosis would be rolled out across the country next year.

It has not been confirmed where this summer’s pilot culls will take place, however the National Farmers Union (NFU) said it believed they would be in Gloucestershire and Somerset.

Animal rights campaigners expressed dismay, claiming there is still no scientific evidence to support the cull and that the move is against the wishes of the British public.

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Paterson said: “We need to make sure that these two trials are carried out in a professional and scientific manner and if we prove that this works we will continue.”

The Government wants to stop the animals spreading the disease which has cost the taxpayer £500m in the last decade. That figure is expected to rise to £1bn in the next 10 years.

Adam Quinney, the vice president of the National Farmers’ Union, welcomed the decision and said they had expected the cull to go ahead this summer.

“The two licences have been issued for two areas in Gloucestershire and Somerset and they still stand.

“There have been discussions about looking at alternative areas just because it is prudent,” he said.

A spokeswoman for The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) confirmed: “The earliest the cull can take place is from June 1, and it will definitely be going ahead this summer.”

The cull cannot take place before then for a number of reasons, including licence restrictions and welfare concerns for badger’s caring for their young.

A spokesperson for the RSPCA said they were “deeply disappointed” with the plans to cull the animals tomorrow as there is no “real proof” that it will help either cows or badgers and called for Defra to look again at alternatives including vaccines.

They said: “The Government must think again and the RSPCA will continue to campaign against the cull until it does so.

“After this year’s postponement we had hoped that the government would finally see sense and pay attention to the vast amount of scientific research showing that a cull will be ineffective, wasteful and potentially damaging to the welfare of both farm and wild animals.

“The vaccination of both badgers and cattle along with more effective biosecurity is the only approach which addresses the welfare of both cattle and badgers and the long term livelihood of farmers.

“This announcement flies in the face of the views of a huge majority of MPs who voted against the cull as well as the majority of the British public and the overwhelming weight of scientific opinion. The RSPCA stands ready to work alongside all those seeking an alternative to this barbaric cull.”

News Link:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/agriculture/farming/9828358/Badger-cull-to-begin-from-June-Environment-Secretary-confirms.html

British Badger Cull – Channel 4 News

Published on 19 Sep 2012

UK channel 4 news item with Brian May, badger supported and guitarist with Queen and Jan Rowe, cattle farmer, debating the badger cull which is taking part in the UK now. 
This programme was first shown in the UK on Monday, September 17th, 2012 
If you are against the cull please support http://www.teambadger.org

Relevant sites & petitions:-

A selection of related items, to find more, type Badgers in the search box in my blog:-

Botswana To Ban Hunting Over Wildlife Species Decline

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Botswana will ban commercial hunting from January 2014 over growing concerns about the sharp decline in wildlife species, officials have announced.

“The shooting of wild game for sport and trophies is no longer compatible with our commitment to preserve local fauna,” the environment ministry said.

The ban is likely to be controversial as many communities depend on hunting for their livelihoods.

As much as a third of the global elephant population lives in Botswana. Recent estimates place the number at about 130,000.

Conservationists are concerned about the erosion of river banks caused by the animals in some nature parks, the BBC’s Letlhogile Lucas in the capital, Gaborone, reports.

The ban, set to come into place on 1 January, could also pose a threat to local communities, in particular bushmen, for whom hunting is a means to survive, our correspondent adds.

Furthermore, selling hunting licences to wealthy Westerners is an extremely lucrative business, he says.

Hunting concessions currently exist in the northern Okavango Delta and the parks of the Kalahari region, famous for its upmarket safari lodges.

According to the environment ministry’s official statement, the government will continue to issue special game licences “for traditional hunting by some local communities within designated wildlife management areas”.

Average trophy fee per species

  • Elephant: Up to $30,000, depending on weight
  • Lion: $29,000
  • Leopard: $7,150
  • Buffalo: $3,744
  • Giraffe: $3,500
  • Zebra: $1,923

Due to its seasonal nature, hunting has only contributed a minimal amount to the tourism sector, which ranks second to the diamond industry in terms of its revenue earnings, the ministry said.

Designated hunting zones will be turned into “photographic areas”.

The announcement has been welcomed by the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

The ideal scenario would be that it has a similar effect to the ban on whaling 20 years ago,” the organisation’s spokesman, Adrian Hiel, told the BBC.

“Whale watching is now proven to be more sustainable and profitable than hunting and killing the animals.”

Earlier this year, Spain’s King Juan Carlos faced international criticism for going on a hunting trip in Botswana. “He apologised to the Spanish people, not the world!”

News Link:-http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-20544251

 

Bullfighting declared legal in France

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This month a corrida was staged in Arles, featuring Spanish bullfighters

France‘s Constitutional Council, a top legal authority, has rejected a plea from animal rights campaigners to ban bullfighting.

The campaigners wanted the fights categorised as cruelty to animals.

But the judges said the “traditional” fights, held in areas of southern France, “do not harm people’s protected constitutional rights”.

More than 1,000 bulls are killed annually in French bullfights, the AFP news agency reports.

Although bullfighting originated in neighbouring Spain, it took root in France a century and a half ago. Fights – known as corridas in Spain – are especially popular in the Nimes and Arles areas.

A ban on bullfighting came into force in Spain’s Catalonia region this year, after lawmakers voted for it last year – the first such ban in the country’s mainland.

The BBC’s Christian Fraser in Paris says a recent opinion poll in France suggested 48% support for a ban, although earlier polls suggested as many as two-thirds of the French electorate would back a ban.

France’s Interior Minister Manuel Valls, born in Barcelona, spoke in favour of bullfighting earlier this month.

Bullfights are banned in some parts of France. Animal rights groups are now considering taking the issue to the European Court of Human Rights, our correspondent reports.

News Link:-http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-19673414

 

Cane rat meat ‘sold to public’ in Ridley Road Market

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Published on 17 Sep 2012 by 

Cane rats and “shocking” quantities of illegal and “potentially unsafe” meat have been sold to the public in east London, BBC London has found.
Secret filming showed meat that broke food safety laws being prepared. 
BBC London’s Guy Lynn spoke to chartered environmental health consultant Dr Yunes Teinaz, environmental health officer Paul Povey and African Health Policy Network chief Francis Kaikumba.

Cane rats and “shocking” quantities of illegal and “potentially unsafe” meat have been sold to the public in east London, a BBC London undercover investigation has found.

Secret filming in one of the capital’s busiest food markets has revealed butchers and food stores prepared to sell large quantities of meat that break food safety laws.

West African and environmental health officer sources told the BBC the Ridley Road Market, in Dalston, was a known hotbed of illicit meat activity, including sales of illegal “smokies”, a delicacy made by charring sheep or goat with a blow torch.

Yet a Freedom of Information request to Hackney Council reveals the last enforcement visits to premises concerning illegal meat in the whole borough took place in 2009.

“This is shocking, I am just so shocked to see so much of it,” said Paul Povey, one of the UK’s leading experts in meat hygiene and inspections and a member of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, who examined the meat for the BBC.

It’s all illegal and hasn’t undergone health control, hasn’t been inspected and may well be contaminated.

“You’ve got to wonder about the contamination level of this meat that anyone’s bringing into their kitchens.”

Hackney Council said it had only received one complaint of illegal meat being sold since 2009 which was not proven.

The practice of creating “smokies” is outlawed under UK and European food laws amid fears about public safety and animal welfare.

It has also been linked to mafia-style gangs in Wales who steal sheep and goats, slaughtering them in unlicensed abattoirs.

Dr Yunes Teinaz, a chartered environmental health practitioner, said: “Behind the underground trade in smokies are criminals who don’t observe the law and are just after financial gain.

“It is disgusting and outrageous that the local authorities don’t take action and remove this meat from the human food chain.”

One Hackney butcher, who was secretly filmed selling a BBC researcher quantities of the illicit meat, said: “Don’t tell anyone, otherwise there will be trouble.”

Two African food stores have sold bush meat such as “grass cutter” or cane rats, which are described as having been imported from Ghana where they are a delicacy.

‘Collapsing a business’

The trade in bush meat is a persistent problem for the UK authorities with illegal meat products smuggled in by passengers in ferry terminals and airports.

The Food Standards Agency says there are worries that bush meat could be of serious risk to both those who eat it and to others from contamination.

There is no suggestion that every butcher and food shop on the Ridley Road Market is prepared to deal in illegal meat.

Confronted with BBC London’s evidence, Islam Halal Meat; Punjab Halal Meat and Fish and Dalston Butchers denied they were selling illegal meat.

The manager of Great Expectations, a food store which sold two Ghanaian rats to the undercover BBC researcher, said: “I don’t sell rats, I never sell rats, I don’t sell rats.

“I don’t have any rats, why you come to video me?”

The manager of Adom Trading, another shop that sold bush meat described as a Ghanaian “grass cutter” rat, also denied selling it.

“What you are saying is a lie, a 100% lie, I don’t sell rats.

You are collapsing a business, do you know how much it costs us to pay the business rates?”

Councillor Feryal Demirci, Hackney Council’s Cabinet Member for Safer Neighbourhoods, said: “Hackney Council’s team of Environmental Health Officers make regular visits and inspections of over 1,000 businesses across the borough, including those on Ridley Road.

Since 2009, we have only received a single complaint regarding the sale of illegal meat, which upon investigation was inconclusive.

“However, we take all complaints seriously and we will always investigate fully. Now that we have received some information from the BBC we will look into this and take the appropriate action.”

News Link:-http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-19622903

 

Dead Horse Pulled From River Severn In Worcester Sparks RSPCA Appeal (GRAPHIC PICTURES)

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“OMG…this is heartbreaking, with the trap still attached it looks like someone got caught in a swollen part of the river crossing, but they got off to safety, & just left the horse to drown…how callous can people be, to walk away from a drowning horse! Judging by the trap, I am wondering if travelers live around that area…I can’t think of many other types that would use that kind of set up, it looks similar to a slinky from the pictures, but facing the other way around, which is odd…that’s just my theory!”

The RSPCA is appealing for information after the bloated body of dead horse was pulled out of a river in Worcester.

The local Fire and Rescue team successfully retrieved the body from the Severn, even though the horse was still attached to a trap. It’s possible to see the bridle and harness still attached to the horse in the picture below.

Flood warnings have been issued a number of times to the area since May, and the river was swollen on the day the fire and rescue service were notified, reports the Worcestershire news.

WARNING GRAPHIC PICTURES IN ARTICLE

The horse had to be hauled out of the river by the local fire service

There had been concerns that a person may have fallen in the river with the horse, but a body has not been found, reports the Worcester Standard.

RSPCA inspector Pippa Boyd said: “This is a deeply unsettling incident and we urgently need the public’s help. At the moment we have no idea when this happened and so we need to hear from anyone who can shed some light on this dreadful discovery.”

There have been a number of horrific attacks against horses over the past six months, though there is no suggestion that these crimes are linked with the discovery of this body.

The first horse, Barney was attacked in Carmarthenshire, Wales on 5 January.

Linda Vickerage, a nurse, discovered the remains of seven-year-old Welsh pony Barney when she went to give him and her other pony their evening feed at a field in Whitland.

Wales Online reported that when police and a vet examined Barney they found he had had his eyes removed, his mouth slit, his ear cut, and been slashed along his body, exposing his organs.

Less than a week after this horrendous attack, a two-year-old horse called Eric was found in Cornwall with his genitals, an eye and teeth cut out after the attack in a field in Cornwall. Police are investigating whether he was drugged before being attacked.

His owner Dawn Jewell said she had lost “her baby”, a Friesian horse she had been wanting since she was a child. Animal lovers have been making their feelings of horror known in large numbers via Twitter, including the BBC horseracing presenter Clare Balding.

In May the RSPCA launched an emergency appeal to find foster homes for a “never ending tide” of abandoned young horses.

The charity said it was currently looking after nearly 600 horses and ponies which have suffered neglect and cruelty – a figure which has more than doubled since last year, with almost half of the animals involved being youngsters.

Anyone with information about the incident in Worcestershire is urged to contact the RSPCA inspector appeal line on 0300 123 8018.

News Link:http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/07/11/dead-horse-river-severn-worcester-rspca_n_1664438.html

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