January 29, 2019
Poland authorities investigate abattoir suspected of slaughtering sick cattle
An abattoir in Poland had allegedly trafficked in sick cattle, leading to a police investigation after the activity was secretly filmed, the BBC reported.
The site, according to the local veterinary officer's statement, is located near Ostrow Mazowiecka in north-eastern Poland.
The film, which was broadcasted by Polish media, exposed "illegal activities" that were purportedly conducted at night to "avoid official supervision," said the country's chief veterinary officer. Sick animals at the abattoir and workers cutting carcasses were seen in the film.
It remains unknown where the meat went. After the abattoir's illegal operation was exposed, authorities in mid-January raided the site and found eight sick cows which were later put down on compassionate grounds.
"During the check, the owners of the animals were identified, along with an animal dealer who transported cattle unfit for transport, and abattoir staff responsible for animal welfare there," the veterinary officer's statement said.
Since then, Polish inspectors checked other abattoirs in the region, while the police attempts to identify any buyers or sellers of meat obtained from sick animals.
Based on slaughterhouse data, Poland is the seventh-largest producer of cow meat in the EU, statistics agency Eurostat said.
In 2017, the country produced some 558,500 tonnes of beef and beef products. That puts Poland behind (in ascending order) Ireland, Spain, Italy, the UK, Germany and France.
However, beef makes up just 2% of meat consumption within the country, according to international conference organiser ITE Group plc.