The wild bunch: Romanian gangs buy horses for just £10 and send them to slaughter

From the slaughterhouses, horse meat believed to have ended up in meals sold as beef in Britain, was delivered by road from Romania to the Spanghero meat processing plant in Castelnaudary, in the Languedoc-Rousillon region of south west France.

Wild horses illegally rounded up by ruthless criminal gangs for as little as £10 each are believed to have ended up on British dinner plates.

Romanian gangsters, nicknamed the Horse Mafia, buy up animals that roam free and work horses to sell to slaughterhouses for a huge profit, a Mirror investigation reveals.

Dodgy vets are bribed to provide relevant paperwork to pass the horses off as legitimate produce .

Our probe reveals a disturbing glimpse into the murky origins of meat that has found its way to UK supermarkets – resulting in the removal of thousands of burgers and ready meals from shelves.

Last week frozen food giant Findus admitted some of its beef lasagne contained up to 100% horse meat – posing questions about how the meat got there and at which point it is labelled “beef”.

Investigators are probing potential links between the Romanian crooks and meat processing plants across Europe.

We tracked their operations in both the north-eastern Danube Delta, and central Transylvanian district.


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