ICSA: We’ll believe it when we see it on horsemeat prosecutions

Irish Cattle and Sheep Association (ICSA) beef chairman Edmond Phelan has said “we’ll believe it when we see it” in response to the possibility of prosecutions arising from the horsemeat scandal.

Phelan was speaking in the aftermath of criticism from British MPs on the lack of prosecutions and the reply this morning by Minister Coveney that it takes time to build a case.

“Farmers are cynical about the different treatment that they get from the authorities compared to the way in which meat companies are being dealt with. If a farmer breaches any minor regulation, even down to small paperwork errors, there are severe financial consequences.

“Yet when there are serious issues around horsemeat being passed off as beef, there seems to be no urgency about penalties.  Farmers think it’s one law for the little people and another law for the big boys in the meat industry.”

Meanwhile the Irish Farmers Association has declined to comment. A spokesman said: “We don’t have a comment at the moment. If that changes, I will  be in touch.”

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