A BURNLEY butcher could be forced to shut his business after raiders stole thousands of pounds of meat and equipment.

Al-Madina Halal Meat, in Queen Victoria Road, had only been open for four months when burglars forced open the rear metal shutter door and stole almost £6,000 worth of stock, machinery and cash.

Business owner Mr Hussain, 36, said he has lost £1,000 in profits since the burglary, as the equipment he uses to process the meat has been stolen. He said: “I was so shocked when I came in to open up the shop and discovered the shutter door had been opened with a crowbar and the machinery had gone.

“I loaned the money from friends to open the shop in September and I’m worried about how I’ll pay them back. I will do it though.

“I was so upset. I felt like crying. It’s going to be very hard to get make enough money to buy new machinery.

“I might have to close the shop if I can’t get it sorted very soon.”

The offenders cut the wires to the alarm system, and snatched a £3,500 Omega TF32S meat mincer, a £1,780 Omega SM280S bandsaw, a £250 Fujitsu laptop, two full sheep carcasses worth £300, and £100 from the till. The thieves also lifted four bottles of Saxa salt, six packets of masala sauce and some international phone calling cards.

Sgt Martyn Holt, of Burnley Police, said: “With the amount taken, with some of the machinery weighing in excess of 50kg, we would expect there to have been more than one offender involved and a vehicle to have been used.

“This is a high value burglary and we would encourage anyone who heard or saw anything suspicious in the area between 6.30pm on Saturday and 7.50am on Sunday to call police on 101.”