Fresh bid to slaughter animals again at controversial south Norfolk abattoir

The site of Norfolk Meat Traders at the Moor, Banham. Picture: Archant

The site of Norfolk Meat Traders at the Moor, Banham. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

A fresh bid is underway to start slaughtering animals again at a controversial south Norfolk abattoir which is already under investigation.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) first inspected and halted work at an abattoir on Moor Farm, Moor Lane Banham, in May last year when undercover footage emerged of sheep in distress being killed.

At the time the abattoir was run by a firm called Simply Halal (Banham).

The company had its licence suspended while the FSA investigated.

Two former workers from Simply Halal then formed a company called Norfolk Meat Traders and were given a licence to slaughter in October last year.

But Norfolk Meat Traders had its licence suspended for the unauthorised slaughter of horses in March.

The company went to Great Yarmouth Magistrates Court in May to try to overturn the decision of the FSA to suspend the licence but failed.

The case was then taken to the High Court in London in June where a judge rejected an application from Norfolk Meat Traders for a judicial review into the suspension of their licence.

And now the FSA has received an application from a third company - United Country Foods Ltd - to operate as a slaughterhouse on the site.

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The firm has different directors and owners to Simply Halal and Norfolk Meat Traders, according to documents at Companies House.

The director and owner is called Arun Ahmed and it is registered to an address in East Ham, London.

An FSA spokesman said: 'An approval assessment visit will soon be conducted by one of our senior vets to determine how this new food business is intending to meet hygiene and animal welfare legislative requirements.'

Welcoming the court's decision to not carry out a judicial review into Norfolk Meat Traders licence suspension, a FSA spokesman said: 'The judge acknowledged as paramount the authority of the Food Standards Agency as the regulator who protects public interest by making sure food is safe.

'As this case demonstrates the FSA will take appropriate action against any businesses and individuals who breach the strict rules that should be followed in all approved slaughterhouses.'