Horse abattoir told to stop trading

An abattoir which slaughters horses has been told to stop operating after the Food Standards Agency (FSA) said it failed to meet safety standards.

The Red Lion abattoir in Nantwich, owned by High Peak Meat Exports, was told yesterday to stop operations as it “could be a risk to public health”, according to the FSA, which said the establishment did not meet all of the infrastructure requirements to operate as a slaughterhouse.

The business had been run as a slaughterhouse under a previous name, but, when ownership changed in 2009, a High Court ruling dictated that new approval needed to be sought.

As a result, FSA vets carried out a number of appraisal visits in order to help the business prepare for its re-approval. However, despite receiving advice on how to fix several issues, the FSA said evidence indicated that not all the improvements were carried out at the plant.

The company was given a month to appeal the decision. However, the owners told the BBC that they would not appeal, but would spend money on the plant before applying to the FSA to reopen.