Police in Europe Break Up Network Selling Illegal Horse Meat – New York Times

The Pan-European investigation began after a scandal over horse meat in burgers in Ireland in 2013, and it was widened to other European countries as dishes like frozen lasagna labeled as containing beef were found to have horse meat.

In addition to the arrests, the Spanish police said on Sunday that they had seized property and luxury cars, and that they had frozen bank accounts. The police in Britain, France, Italy, Portugal, Romania and Switzerland also carried out interventions, according to Europol, although the statement did not provide details.

Meat safety has been a major European health issue since the 1990s, when bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease, was found to have spread to humans. The European Union has sought to tighten quality controls on meat imports, tussling this year with Brazil over whether to ban meat shipments after a police investigation in the country uncovered corruption involving food-sanitation inspectors.

In Spain, horse slaughtering became an increasingly divisive issue during the recent financial crisis, as animal welfare associations denounced an uptick in the slaughtering, as well as the illegal killing, of animals whose owners said they could no longer afford to keep them.

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Police in Europe Break Up Network Selling Illegal Horse Meat – New York Times

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