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250kg of Polish beef from sick cows imported to Finland

The Finnish Food Authority is investigating whether the meat has already reached supermarket shelves or if it's still in a storage facility.

File photo. Image: Roland Schlager / EPA

Beef that was illegally butchered from sick cows in Poland has been imported to Finland, according to the Finnish Food Authority.

Last week Polish media outlet TVN24 posted undercover video (graphic images of suffering animals, viewer discretion advised) which appears to show very sick cows being smuggled into a slaughterhouse.

The footage, reportedly shot at an abattoir in Poland’s Mazovia region, shows cows that appear unable to stand, being dragged from transport trucks into the facility with winches and ropes and then butchered without a veterinarian’s oversight.

Authorities in Poland have confirmed that around 250kg of beef from that facility had been sent to Finland. The beef arrived via a Polish meat distribution firm which exported it to nine EU countries, including Finland.

The agency said the meat would be taken off the market and has requested other EU countries that export meat to Finland to check whether they have been involved with the slaughterhouse or the meat distribution firm in Poland.

Poland is Europe’s seventh largest exporter of beef, according to EU statistics agency Eurostat.

Edited on 31 January, 2019 at 12:20 pm to reflect it was the Finnish Food Safety Authority that made the announcement about the imported meat, not Evira.

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