Peter Boddy tells the Courier: “We have done nothing wrong”

Peter Boddy
Peter Boddy

The Todmorden farmer caught up in the horse meat scandal has exclusively pleaded his innocence through the Courier.

Peter Boddy said the way the authorities had treated him and his business was disgusting.

He said all operations at his Todmorden slaughterhouse were above board and documented and he was stunned to be embroiled in the national scandal.

The Food Standards Agency this week suspended operations at his slaughterhouse and at the Farmbox Meats Ltd production plant near Aberystwyth.

It is alleged that horse meat was passed off as beef and sold in Britain.

The Peter Boddy slaughterhouse is one of only five in the UK licensed for horses and the national media converged on it this week.

Mr Boddy said he had supplied Farmbox with two or three orders.

“We have sold horse meat which it asked for,” he said.

“It was sold with the proper paperwork and stamped for human consumption.”

Mr Boddy believes when the FSA raided the Welsh premises records were seized which led investigators to Todmorden.

He said it was right and proper that the meat could be traced but it was ridiculous to shut down his plant which operated within the law.

“Everybody here is completely innocent,” said Mr Boddy.

“And, we have vets here all the time seeing what we do.”

He said the jobs of eight people were at risk.

“I have not got a clue when we will be back in business,” he said.

“This will do long-term damage.”

Mr Boddy said he didn’t know, and it wasn’t for him to speculate, the circumstances surrounding Farmbox being embroiled in the investigation.

He said horse meat - which is widely eaten in Europe - had a growing market in the UK as the country’s ethnic mix grew.

“People are wanting that meat in this country,” said Mr Boddy.

The owner of Farmbox has denied his meat was being turned into burgers and kebabs for UK supermarkets.

Businessman Dafydd Raw-Rees, 64, told media he takes in tons of horse carcasses from Ireland to be cut up and processed.

But, he said all the meat is then shipped to a customer in Belgium which has been dealing in horseflesh for generations.

Mr Raw-Rees said his factory only started dealing with horsemeat three weeks ago and was fully-licensed.

He said: “From a business point of view using horsemeat is perfectly legal.

“The horse meat is delivered it is cut up and it is taken from here to Belgium and I get paid for doing the cutting up.

“There’s no further processing, I don’t do kebabs I don’t do mince meat I don’t do beef burgers.

“This is not a processing plant this is purely production - meat cutting.”

He also said his operations had a full paper trail and was above board.

Politicians in the UK and Europe have vowed to clamp down on anyone who passed off horse meat as beef.