Horsemeat and goat meat prosecutions begin

The first prosecution after the horsemeat scandal got under way yesterday at Westminster Magistrates court.

Four men appeared in court accused of breaching food regulations surrounding the traceability of horsemeat, confirmed by the Crown Prosecution Service. Dafydd Raw-Rees, 66, owner and food business operator at Farmbox Meal and Colin Paterson, 43, the company representative, joined two slaughterhouse bosses Peter Boddy, 63, and David Moss, 53, as the latest to be charged as a result of the ongoing Food Standards Agency (FSA) investigation into the scandal. In addition Moss is charged with one count of forgery relating to an alleged falsified invoice for the sale of horsemeat.

The men appeared in two pairs and were sent to Southwark Crown Court where they will appear again on 28 April 2014. Boddy and Moss, both from Todmorden, are accused of failing to comply with the traceability requirements of horses that were slaughtered and sold from their abattoir in West Yorkshire. Boddy was arrested in February this year, accused with being in breach of regulation four of the general food law.

Raw-Rees and Paterson, from Aberystwyth, are accused of mislabelling goat meat for sale as lamb or mutton. They are expected to plead not guilty.

Their appearance in court coincided with an announcement from the FSA confirming new horsemeat tests that will help identify food fraud. Steve Wearne, director of policy at the FSA, said: “We remain vigilant about the threats to our food supply from fraudsters and determined that we do not see a repeat of the problems that emerged last year. We are working closely with local authorities to do more authenticity testing and we have increased the additional funding we provide to support this to £2m this year.”

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