Slaughterhouse bosses admit 'dressing up goat from abroad as British lamb'

The court heard their company lost £1 million following the investigation and it had since gone out of business

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The Independent Online

Two slaughterhouse bosses have admitted mislabelling meat for sale in the UK after "dressing up goat from abroad as British lamb".

Food inspectors discovered "large amounts" of goat meat which was falsely labelled as lamb at Farmbox Meats near Aberystwyth, Wales, at the height of the horse meat scandal.

Company owner Dafydd Raw-Rees, 67, and manager Colin Patterson, 44, were due to stand trial at London’s Southwark Crown Court but pleaded guilty to falsely describing food and failing to comply with food traceability requirements.

The court heard their company lost £1 million following the investigation and it had since gone out of business.

Judge Alistair McCreath described the firm's record keeping as "extremely negligent", while prosecutor Adam Payter said thee records were "a shambles".

Patterson was given a 12-week sentence suspended for two years, while Raws-Rees received a two-year conditional discharge.

No charges were brought against the pair in relation to horse meat.

Payter told the court the FSA attended Farmbox in February 2013 after receiving information that Peter Boddy Slaughterers had provided the firm with horse meat.

"At that premises and at an off-site storage facility they held large amounts of goat meat slaughtered abroad that had been sealed, packaged and labelled ready for sale," the lawyer said.

"That meat was falsely labelled as lamb meat which had been slaughtered in the UK.

"In short, they dressed up goat from abroad as British lamb and they intended to sell it to their customers."

Labels on the goat meat said it had been slaughtered by a lamb abattoir when in fact it came from a company which was not approved to slaughter animals in the UK, the court heard.

During police interviews, Patterson initially said the mislabelling must have been a staff error and he could not tell the difference between lamb and goat carcasses.

PA

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