Todmorden slaughterhouse has links with Grand National

Aintree
Aintree

The Todmorden slaughterhouse caught up in the horse meat scandal has a contract to remove carcasses of horses fatally injured at Aintree racecourse.

Media reports say the Peter Boddy slaughterhouse is called on to remove horses fatally injured at Aintree, home of the Grand National.

The Liverpool Echo reported the course confirmed the ongoing contract existed although there is no evidence that carcasses taken by the firm entered the food chain.

Racing bosses stressed that racehorses could not be eaten by the unwitting public – unless the law had been broken.

An Aintree spokesman said: “By the time these carcasses are returned to the disposal organisation’s premises they are totally unsuitable for consumption. They are likely to contain chemicals such as bute and are fully signed off as unsuitable.

“Indeed it is illegal for horses humanely put down by injection on the racecourse to enter the food chain.

“We are as confident as we possibly can be that no unfit meat ever reaches the human food chain.”

Two horses were put down in last year’s Grand National, including Gold Cup winner Synchronized. He was not among the carcasses taken by Mr Boddy.

The charity Animal Aid said 1,127 unwanted racehorses were killed in UK abattoirs in 2011.

Director Andrew Tyler said he feared the horse meat scandal would uncover racehorse carcasses being processed for public consumption.

Mr Tyler said: “We know that racehorses are rendered down into soap and chicken feed due to the chemicals in them.

“But if there has been fraudulent activity then these horses could quite possibly have ended up in burgers or kebabs, which is a horrifying prospect.”