September 22, 2023


Equality opinion

Europol and Spain lead horse meat fraud investigation

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European authorities have uncovered a network that offered possibly dangerous horse meat in at the very least four international locations.

The procedure was coordinated by Europol and the Spanish Civil Guard (Guardia Civil). A video can be seen in this article.

Operation Yucatán qualified the sale of horse meat unsuitable for intake. The meat was bought on the Spanish, Belgian, German, and Italian marketplaces.

In Spain, 35 people today had been detained and 6 providers ended up investigated. Spanish officials seized half a ton of horse meat from butcher stores as it posed a chance to public health. Before this calendar year, it was revealed that six arrests had been created by Belgian Federal Police. Authorities did not report any connected illnesses.

Traceability information and facts for the animals was altered by modifying registration, transfer, and identification paperwork. The gang is accused of crimes like foods fraud, dollars laundering, and doc fraud.

Inspections by the Federal Company for the Basic safety of the Foodstuff Chain (FASFC) and Animal Welfare Inspectorate in Belgium confirmed evidence of tampering with passports and microchips of animals.

Ongoing due to the fact 2019

A single unlawful cargo could build up to €35,000 ($36,500) for the transporters, with an approximated turnover of €4.5 million ($4.7 million), reported Europol.

Suspects had different capabilities from slaughtering the animals with no the vital controls, working with the transport, veterinarians furnishing fake files, and the butcher facilities, which bought the meat.

The accused acquired horses from across Spain for free or up to €100 ($104) for each animal, which arrived at values near to €1,500 ($1,570) when sold. These horses ended up not intended for the food items chain. A cattle exploitation site was set up in 2019 to export the meat to other European marketplaces. The livestock farm limited the entry and exit of horses.

Spanish officers raided the clandestine facilities in Valencia and uncovered 80 horses, which had been abused and have been struggling from numerous untreated ailments because of to the deficiency of veterinary treatment. The farm was closed and horses ended up taken off but a single experienced to be set down.

Animals endured bad problems in the cattle services, a lack of food items and water, as effectively as stressful circumstances through transportation, stated authorities.  

The newest Notify and Cooperation Network (ACN) report also pointed out horse doc fraud. Throughout 2020 and 2021, several EU international locations attempted to overcome the unlawful introduction of horses into the foodstuff chain. Excluded animals no more time have any market benefit at the close of their daily life. Traffickers are falsifying the passports of these horses to reintroduce them into the food items chain.

Preceding editions of the once-a-year Operation Opson, which is coordinated by Europol and Interpol, have included actions on horse passport documents and horse meat in nations around the world like Belgium and Spain. Investigations led to meat and stay animals staying seized and court docket circumstances in many European nations.

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