News Pet Food Manufacturer In Court For Fraud

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Pet food manufacturer in court for fraud
8th July 2019

By Sandra Pearce

The owner of a North Warwickshire pet food supplier has been prosecuted for fraud and animal health offences.

Ben Sweet owned and ran BS Pet Foods, based at Innage Park, Atherstone, and later at Over Coppice Farm, Wood End. Trading Standards officers were called to the trader’s premises in Atherstone after receiving reports that meat was being butchered illegally.

Officers discovered an appalling scene, according to the council. Despite a turnover of more than £100,000 per year, workers were cutting pigs’ ears and trotters in contaminated and unhygienic conditions.

Raw and cooked pig products were being transported and stored together and employees were working without protective equipment or hand-washing facilities. There wasn’t even any electricity.

The business was selling its pig pet food products direct to consumers on eBay and supplying pet food stores.

GUILTY

Trading Standards officers ordered the business to stop moving pig products on or off the premise and to clean both the site and the business’s vehicle.

Four improvement notices were issued but the trader simply moved to new premises (on a farm) and began operating again in equally unhygienic conditions.

Officers found evidence of raw pigs’ ears kept in unhygienic wheelie bins, prepared on a cutting table made of bare board and cooked in makeshift ovens in premises with a floor of bare earth and mud, next to premises which housed cattle.

At Warwick Crown Court on June 21, Sweet pleaded guilty to offences under the Fraud Act 2006, The Animal By-Products (Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2013, and the Animal Feed (Hygiene, Sampling etc and Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2015.

He was given an 18-month suspended prison sentence and ordered to carry out 180 hours unpaid work. Equipment used by the business was forfeited.