Devon

Thousands of animals butchered in 'filthy' Devon abattoir

Meat at Broom's slaughterhouse Image copyright Mid Devon District Council
Image caption The judge spoke of a "breach of basic hygiene practices"

A slaughterman illegally butchered thousands of animals in a "filthy" abattoir, a court has heard.

Matthew Broom, 40, of Cowley Road Moor, Tiverton, admitted 16 food hygiene offences at Exeter Crown Court.

He was jailed for eight months, suspended for two years, ordered to do 180 hours' unpaid community work and repay an estimated £40,000 profit.

Sentencing, the judge said it was a "breach of basic hygiene practices known to any household".

The court heard that more than one tonne of unfit meat was seized when his premises near Tiverton was raided by inspectors from Mid Devon District Council.

They found animal waste stored next to fresh meat, while other body parts were burned on a bonfire outside the doors of the cutting room.

'Disregard for hygiene'

Broom did not have running hot water with which to wash his hands, and blood and meat debris covered the walls and floors.

The judge, Alan Large, said: "You ran your business with complete disregard for hygiene or risk to the public and you did so for considerable profit."

Broom slaughtered animals from hundreds of farms all over North and Mid Devon, before cutting them up and returning them to the farmers in freezer-ready packs.

Prosecutors said many of the items seized when the site was raided were in what was considered to be "an unfit state".

Brian Fitzherbert, defending, said Broom had provided a valuable service to farmers who could not afford to take single animals to a registered abattoir.

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