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Todmorden slaughterhouse chief insists innocence
A SLAUGHTERHOUSE boss has insisted he is innocent after Food Standards Agency bosses raided his farm as part of the horsemeat scandal.
Peter Boddy, who runs an abbatoir in Hey Head Lane, Todmorden, has said he will co-operate with agency investigators, who swooped on his premises on Monday amid claims horsemeat labelled as beef left there, bound for a firm in west Wales.
He has also denied he was ‘raided’ – though the FSA seized suspect meat and paperwork and suspended operations at the slaughterhouse.
Mr Boddy told a TV news crew: “It was not a raid – they are welcome to visit whenever they want. They just wanted to see my records, which I will be showing them.”
Mr Boddy’s MP, Calder Valley representative Craig Whittaker, has also raised questions with Environment Minister Owen Paterson about the probe.
Mr Whittaker said: “We have to make sure that this investigation is carried out thoroughly and there are no pre-judgements on what has been found. I think it is important because Mr Boddy has been in business for a very long time.”
Agency bosses said on Monday they had found evidence of horsemeat being mislabelled as beef, which was transported to Farmbox, a meat plant near Aberystwyth. The FSA has suspended operations at the Todmorden and Welsh sites.
Meanwhile Lancashire County Council’s laboratory in Preston has been kept busy testing beef products for possible horsemeat contamination.
The Peter Boddy site, which opened despite local planning objections in 2007, is one of only five in the UK which is licensed to deal with horses.
Speaking about the crisis at Prime Minister’s Question Time, David Cameron said: “If there has been criminal activity there should be the full interven0tion of the law.”
MP's praise for constituency firm and supermarket
EAST Lancashire MP Andrew Stephenson praised a local slaughterhouse for its high standards as Environment Secretary Owen Paterson promised the House of Commons tough action over the horsemeat scandal.
The cabinet minister pledged further testing to identify contaminated beef products and told MPs: “It is outrageous that consumers have been buying products labelled beef, which turn out to contain horsemeat.
“The Government are taking urgent action. There appears to have been criminal activity in an attempt to defraud the consumer.”
Pendle MP Mr Stephenson told him: “My constituency contains the abattoir of Woodhead Bros Meat Bros Co in Colne. Woodhead, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Morrisons supermarket, benefited from a £21million investment last year and employs more than 700 people.
“All Morrisons’ meat and mince is 100per cent British-sourced. It uses its own abattoirs and maintains very high standards, as I have seen every time I have visited Woodhead Bros. Will you join me in praising retailers such as Morrisons which do the right thing and go the extra mile to ensure that their products are correct?”
Mr Paterson replied: “I have to admire the way in which Morrisons managed to penetrate every possible news outlet in order to promote its products.”