This April 2013 video says about itself:
The horsemeat scandal UK government now says “needs crime unit”
Horsemeat Scandal: Tracing the beginnings of widespread horsemeat selling to Ireland
This shocking report into the Irish roots of the horsemeat scandal goes undercover to reveal a systematic criminal harvest of thousands of horses, which netted millions and stretches well beyond Ireland’s borders.
“Nobody bothered asking the question, where are all the Irish horses going?”, says animal rights activist Stephen Philpott, who ran a surveillance operation on gangs smuggling thousands of unwanted horses across the border for illegal slaughter.”Five years ago horses like that were everywhere.” It was all an unexpected consequence of the global financial crisis. When the bubble burst in Ireland, expensive horses were dumped and left to fend for themselves in parks, fields and by the side of the road. It wasn’t long before criminal gangs got in on the action.
One whistle-blower, who is now in fear of his life, admits forging passports for the horses to get them across borders. He says these fakes were never checked. He also reveals how horses too weak to travel were routinely drugged to make sure they arrived at the abattoir still alive. “If you could get it up the ramp it would be on”, he says. Alan Reilly, CEO of the Food Standards Authority, explains how “there are over 26 countries in Europe who are now involved”. But in this scandal, nobody – from the supermarkets to the suppliers – is accepting blame.
Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:
How horse meat transformed into beef (at least, on paper)
Against meat trader Hans W. from Breda, the public prosecutor has demanded three years in prison. He is said to have sold tons of horse meat as beef, together with the main suspect in the fraud case, Jan F. W. is suspected of participating in a criminal organization and forgery.
It was the largest European meat scandal in 2013. Ravioli, spaghetti bolognese, moussaka and other frozen meals in various European countries turned out to contain horse meat, while according to the labels they contained beef. Dutch companies appear to have played a crucial role.
At the court in Breda today the case against a number of companies involved was dealt with. The court case showed how meat was dragged around and how fraud was committed on a large scale.
Made up data
Tens of thousands of kilograms of horse meat were shipped by boat from Canada to Breda. The meat ended up in a cold store where labels were changed – coincidentally opposite the court in Breda where the case was being dealt with today. The origin of the meat was no longer visible and slaughter dates were made up.
It was then delivered to a French corporation, as so-called beef from Romania. It ended up in frozen meals. Horse meat from Belgium and Ireland was also sold as more expensive beef from Romania. Only after checking meals in Great Britain and Germany did it become clear that there was horse DNA in the beef meals.
Main suspect Jan F. – also called the horse king of Breda – was not present at the trial. He is under arrest in Spain for a similar case and, according to his lawyer, did not dare to come to Breda. Afraid of being arrested because of a European investigation order and of then being extradited to France. There he was sentenced to two years in prison for other meat fraud.
“The label must match the content,” said the public prosecutor. “If you order beef, then you must get beef. Trust comes on foot and runs away on horseback. It will take a while before consumers will be able to trust their bolognese again.”
W. claims to have been used by Jan F. and denies having known anything about the fraud. He also believes that the corporation in France could have known that they were getting horse meat. “There is a completely different air in a cold store if it contains horse meat than in a cold store with beef”, says W .. “And the colour of the fat is different. Horse meat is much yellower.”
The two meat traders were previously convicted of selling horse meat as more expensive halal beef.
The court will rule on Hans W. in four weeks. A new date is being sought for the case against Jan F.