BY HILARY MARTYN
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Food, Éamon Ó Cuív TD, has called on the Minister for Agriculture to immediately rule out any link between the illegal slaughtering of horses and the contamination of beef products with horse DNA.
Citing a Sunday Times investigation from May 2012, which he said revealed that abattoirs in Ireland were slaughtering hundreds of horses illegally for the European market, Deputy Ó Cuív said the department was made aware of these allegations at the time and were conducting their own investigations into the illegal horse meat trade.
“These now need to be published immediately and the Minister needs to disclose what the findings were and if any action was taken.
“The Food Safety Authority of Ireland investigation has revealed that traces of horse meat were found in some beef products sold in Irish supermarkets. This has created a huge amount of uncertainty with consumers here and abroad and is a very worrying development.
“The Department needs to act quickly and decisively here. The Minister must rule out any link between the illegal horse slaughtering, which was uncovered and the contaminated beef burgers. Our international reputation is at stake here and any doubt must be dispelled quickly.
“Minister Coveney must publish the findings of the Department’s investigations into the illegal slaughter of horses immediately,” he said.
— Traces of horse meat found in burgers; Tuesday’s Horse; January 15, 2013
— Toxic Irish horse meat sold on the black market in Europe; Tuesday’s Horse; May 17, 2012