Nina Carberry 'horrified' by abattoir abuses, says she never sent ...

16 Jun 2024

Nina Carberry, the new MEP for Midlands-Northwest. Alamy Stock Photo

Shannonside Foods - Figure 1

Horseracing industry

Earlier today, the agriculture minister said the abattoir has shut down following this week’s revelations.

NEWLY ELECTED MEP for Fine Gael Nina Carberry has spoken out about serious allegations concerning the country’s only active abattoir for horses, saying she is “horrified” by what has emerged about Shannonside Foods.

The former champion jockey is also “gravely concerned” by claims that there has been “illegal tampering with or falsification” of horse passports.

Carberry, who runs Broadmeadow stables in Co Meath, has also “never sent animals in her care for slaughter” to the abattoir operated by Shannonside Foods in Straffan, Co Kildare, a Fine Gael spokesperson told The Journal.

The abattoir is operated through Shannonside Foods, who told RTÉ that footage of alleged welfare abuses captured by hidden cameras “will be fully investigated by the company”.

Earlier today, Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue said the abattoir has been shut down following the revelations aired in the RTÉ Investigates programme.

Carberry, who was elected as an MEP in her first election for the Midlands-Northwest European constituency on Friday, said anyone behind the “disgusting behaviour” does not represent “the many who care for their animals” in the horseracing industry.

“Like everyone, I was horrified by what I saw on last week’s RTE Investigates programme. All animals, whether pets, sport or production animals, and those destined for slaughter, must be afforded the highest standards of animal welfare,” she said, adding that these are enshrined in European legislation.

“Also of grave concern is the illegal tampering with or falsification of horse passports. This is also criminal activity and must be addressed,” Carberry said.

“I welcome the fact that the Department of Agriculture has commenced an investigation into these matters and that Horse Racing Ireland will actively support this and any Garda investigation.

“The individuals carrying out this disgusting behaviour do not represent the many who care for their animals and it is vital that they face the full rigours of the law without any delay.”

Carberry’s comments come ahead of a difficult week for the industry. Its regulator the Department of Agriculture alongside horseracing bodies come before the Public Accounts Committee to discuss not just the abattoir claims, but “financial discrepancies” totaling in the hundreds of thousands of euro, as contained within industry financial accounts.

Speaking earlier, McConalogue said the department is “actively investigating the absolutely abhorrent mistreatment of animals and suspected criminality” at Ireland’s only active horse abattoir in Straffan, Co Kildare.

He added that the “full rigour of the law will be applied where warranted, and no stone left unturned”.

While McConalogue said he cannot comment in detail on the investigation, he outlined that the following actions have been taken.

No animals have entered the food chain from this slaughter plant in the past three weeks All carcasses that were presented for slaughter last week are detained The operation of the plant is now fully suspended.

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