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Bernard Matthews Ltd risks prosecution over safety breaches

by 5m Editor
11 February 2007, at 12:11pm

UK - Bernard Matthews's company could face prosecution for safety breaches leading to Britain's first outbreak of bird flu, a government minister said yesterday.

Ben Bradshaw, the junior environment minister handling the crisis, accused the firm of a "biosecurity breach" at its farm in Holton, Suffolk, where 159,000 turkeys were slaughtered in an attempt to contain the disease last weekend. He added that "court action" could result.

The move comes as evidence emerges which, investigators believe, links the arrival of the deadly H5N1 virus on the farm to meat imported from the company's operations in Hungary - and as fears grow that infected meat may have reached supermarket shelves.

Mr Bradshaw told The Independent on Sunday that there had "clearly been a route of infection" at the farm, adding: "There has been a biosecurity breach, otherwise this infection would not have happened."

He said: "There is an ongoing investigation, and it is possible that Bernard Matthews Ltd will be prosecuted".

Source: The Independant

5m Editor