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France - Belgium

Jockey suspected in new French horsemeat scandal

Cuts of horsemeat at a horse butchers in Rosny-sous-Bois near Paris
Cuts of horsemeat at a horse butchers in Rosny-sous-Bois near Paris Reuters/Charles Platiau

A new horsemeat scandal has blown up in France after three slaughterhouses tipped off police about an illegal trafficking operation. Investigators confirm they are trying to determine the scope and extent of the scam, which would have sold unsafe meat for human consumption.


Investigators are targeting a jockey based in the Ardennes region in eastern France after he allegedly offered to buy two horses from a regional equestrian centre.

They suspect that, rather than caring for the horses after they retired from active life, the plan was to take the animals to Belgium, falsify their records and then send them to French slaughterhouses.

The majority of horses used for riding receive medication that makes them unsuited for human consumption but industry authorities say that commercially available horsemeat has not beeb affected.

Officials in French courts and the Ministry of Agriculture confirmed an investigation was underway, without divulging further details.

France's processed food industry has been under scrutiny since horsemeat was discovered marketed as beef in January.

On Thursday Spanghero, the company at the heart of that scandal, reported better-than-expected business activity since marketing its products under a new name, La Lauragaise.

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