EC is sending its inspectors in Poland to investigate "sick cow" scandal
Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, and Sweden are the countries that received beef coming from the animals involved in "sick cows" scandal that erupted in Poland.
The abattoir in Kalinowo near the town of Ostrów Mazowiecka was secretly filmed slaughtering sick cows by Polish broadcaster TVN. It showed slaughter was carried out at night to avoid official veterinary supervision. The Polish authorities have called the situation as a “gross violation” of animal protection law, leading to deliberate suffering of farm animals with particular cruelty.
At the request of the European Commission, Poland notified EU countries through the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) that beef from the slaughterhouse has been transported to a Polish meat cutting plant and then exported to other EU countries.
The European Commission said dragging animals that are unable to walk as described in the Polish filming is forbidden by EU legislation on the protection of animals at slaughterhouses.
Vytenis Andriukaitis, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said inspectors in his team would be in Poland this week to assess the situation on the ground.
“The priority is to trace and withdraw from the market all the products originated from this slaughterhouse. I call on the member states affected to take swift action. At the same time I urge the Polish authorities to finalize as a matter of urgency their investigations, taking all the necessary measures to ensure the respect of the EU legislation including effective, rapid and dissuasive penalties against the perpetrators of such a criminal behavior that could pose risk to public health and portrays an unacceptable treatment of animals,” he said.