Controversial slaughterhouse closed by FSA

Abattoir campaigners holding a protest in Rutland Square Bakewell

Abattoir campaigners holding a protest in Rutland Square Bakewell

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A horse abattoir owned by a Dales company has been closed down by the Food Standards Agency after failing to meet standards for the safe production of meat.

The FSA said the Red Lion abattoir in Nantwich, Cheshire, could be a risk to public health after it had not followed recommendations from its vets.

The owners, High Peak Meat Exports, of Bakewell, told BBC Radio Derby it would not appeal the decision.

It said that it would spend money to improve the plant before re-applying to the FSA to reopen.

The FSA said the decision to stop the slaughterhouse operating had “absolutely nothing to do with the horsemeat issue” or its on-going investigation into “inconsistencies with horse passports.”

A spokesperson for the agency said: “FSA vets had carried out a number of appraisal visits to the plant to help the business prepare for re-approval and advice was given on how to rectify a number of issues.

“However, when the approval visit was undertaken in February this year, the evidence indicated that not all the improvements that were needed had been done.”

John Young, from High Peak Meat Exports, said: “The company voluntary decided not to operate before any FSA decision and will not appeal their decision.

“The company will substantially invest in the premises for what is a necessary industry and thanks the Food Standards Agency for the assistance given.”

In February the company came under pressure from animal rights protesters when a shocking film was released – showing horses being mistreated by workers – which was taken inside the Nantwich slaughterhouse.

On Saturday, February 16, protesters took to the streets of Bakewell.