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Spain investigates possibility of Dog DNA in processed meat

Source: The Daily Mail - Fri 8th Mar 2013
Spain investigates possibility of Dog DNA in processed meat

The Daily Mail has reported how there is a 'possibility' that the flesh of dead dogs may have ended up in certain processed foods made by Spanish food manufacturing plants.

Britain's Food Standards Agency says it is aware of the investigation and it is liaising with its counterparts in Spain.

A spokesman from the FSA commented: ‘We are aware of these reports and are in contact with the Spanish authorities about their investigation. ‘We are currently not testing food for meat from dogs. Our priority is to test beef products for gross contamination with horse meat because that is where the problem clearly is.'

The investigation is being linked to criminal activity of a gang operating in the Salamanca and Galica areas, where the bodies of dogs - which should have been incinerated - were then processed to create protein and fats to be sold on to be used in the production of animal feed.

Last year, police found a warehouse filled with 15 tons of dead stray dogs which they believe were going to be processed into animal feed, in the Galician town of As Neves.

SEPRONA, the environmental arm of the Guardia Civil, has sent dozens of samples of commercial pet food for testing following a tip-off.

According to laboratory tests performed in one of the processing plants, fat samples destined for animal feed had DNA traces of both sheep and dog.

A major police investigation has been underway since March 2012, according to a report in Spain's El Mundo newspaper.

The pressure group Viva, which campaigns against meat eating, is writing to UK supermarkets to ask them to test their food for the presence of dog and other species.

Its campaigns manager, Justin Kerswell, said: ‘It is a horrifying possibility that dog and rat meat might have entered the human food chain, but given the depth of ineptitude shown and the EU-wide fraud the horse meat scandal has exposed, it seems entirely plausible.

‘It may only be a matter of time before dog, rat and perhaps even cat meat is found in British processed food or farmed animal feed.

‘British supermarkets have been selling horse meat to consumers for years without knowing it, so what else has been on sale? They will have no idea unless they specifically test for it.'

Scottish Labour MEP, Alyn Smith, said: ‘These revelations from Spain indicate just where I fear this may be going. By the time meat becomes "protein" then traceability all but breaks down, especially in the pet and animal feed markets. ‘I'm concerned that given the EU-wide pet food market this contamination could be considerably more widespread.

‘The spectre of forced cannibalism turns this issue into something considerably more serious, and we need reassurance that this is an isolated incident of criminality, albeit it would seem on a pretty significant scale given the reported sourcing of 15 tonnes of dogs must take some organisation.'

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The Daily Mail : Stray dogs from Spain 'may have been used to make pet food and farm animal feed'

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