Horse slaughter house operations suspended in Co Offaly

It has been revealed that one of two plants that slaughter horses here has been suspended from operations following a Department of Agriculture inspection last Friday.

Officials who visited Ossory Meats in Offaly found problems with 25 horses.

These included issues with the horse markings being different to those noted on their passports and some of those presented as being yearlings being much older.

An interim report on the mislabelling of meat says the incident is extraordinary, particularly the brazenness in attempting to have these animals slaughtered at a time when controls had been enhanced.

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney said: "I should firstly express my concern at the incident which occurred only last Friday in Ossory Meats.

"What gave rise to the incident at Ossory Meats and the subsuquent suspension of the plant is totally unacceptable and will be pursued with full vigour