‘No leniency’ for illegal cattle slaughtering: Polish agriculture minister

Poland’s agriculture minister has warned offenders should expect “no leniency” amid a probe into illegal cattle slaughtering practices.

Meat from sick cows and animals that were already dead prior to slaughter in Poland has found its way abroad, officials have said.

The European Commission said on Friday that meat from illegal slaughter practices in Poland had been uncovered in 13 other countries.

Agriculture Minister Jan Krzysztof Ardanowski admitted that such practices dented confidence in Poland’s food producers, adding: “Police proceedings are being carried out.”

Ardanowski said that, in agreement with the European Commission, Poland wanted to bring in legal changes.

“In slaughterhouses where there is no 24-hour veterinarian presence, around-the-clock surveillance needs to be introduced. That is quite logical and will be immediately introduced,” he added.

European Commission experts will fly to Poland on Monday to investigate illegal procedures in slaughtering cattle, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.

The probe comes in the wake of an expose by Polish private broadcaster TVN.

TVN reported that a plant in east-central Poland had processed meat from sick cows and animals that were dead before slaughter.

The Polish authorities have said the slaughterhouse has been closed down, according to the IAR news agency.

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