Belfast Telegraph

Illegal meat fears: Searches in Co Armagh over suspected illegal animal slaughter house

Three properties searched in total

A suspected illegal animal slaughter house and meat cutting plant has been uncovered in Co Armagh.

Meat produced at the operation discovered in the Newry and Mourne area was allegedly done so without official hygiene checks.

Two properties were searched in Forthill, while a third was probed in the Bessbrook area.

According to police, searches were carried out in partnership with Stormont's Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) and Newry and Mourne District Council, supported by the Food Standards Agency.

They have since ended, with a suspected "illegal animal slaughter and meat cutting operation discovered".

A number of items were seized for examination, police said.

Maria Jennings, director of the Food Standards Agency in Northern Ireland, said: "The FSA is working closely with the PSNI and all relevant authorities, including DARD and the district council on this investigation - in order to stop further production at this plant and to protect the safety of the food chain.

"The information we have tells us that meat was being produced illegally, without official hygiene checks.

"We are currently investigating which businesses have been supplied with meat from the plant and we will provide further information once we have it."

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