This is the blog of British investigative journalist Jason Lewis.
It features articles from my time as Investigations Editor of the Sunday Telegraph and Whitehall and Security Editor of the Mail on Sunday.
I specialise in writing on intelligence and security matters, human and civil rights and the activities of the British State.
Wednesday, 10 April 2013
Imported horses ‘missing’
The Sunday Times Published: 7 April 2013
Horsemeat on sale in Germany: thousands of imported horses may have ended up in British food (Ingo Wagner)
Thousands of horses imported to Britain from Europe have “disappeared”, fuelling fears that they ended up in our food.
Britain usually imports about 8,000 horses a year, including thoroughbreds for the racing industry and ponies for young riders. Many are slaughtered, however, and the UK exports horsemeat worth more than £4m a year.
New figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs show that in two exceptional years Britain imported huge numbers of animals.
In 2009, 22,209 arrived and 15,611 in 2011. At the same time, there was no noticeable increase in the number slaughtered or in the amount of horsemeat exported.
Mary Creagh, shadow environment secretary, said: “Where did these animals go? It was a recession, British people were getting rid of their horses and yet huge numbers of animals were brought in and simply disappeared.”
The figures add to mounting evidence that criminals played a major role in contaminating beef in food with horsemeat.
Police and food safety officials have tracked consignments of meat to Britain concluding, “it arrived as beef and, in some cases, left as something else”, according to a source with detailed knowledge of the inquiry.