Smokies and the banditFeb 27 2005
Lucy Ballinger, Wales on Sunday
60 sheep were found hanging from a rail bleeding to death and 40 more were shorn awaiting slaughter.A Welsh farmer banned for life from keeping animals has been jailed for six months for running an illegal slaughterhouse in Scotland.
Jones had already been banned from keeping animals for life nearly six years ago
Julian Jones, from Cardigan, admitted he produced 'smokies' from a filthy barn in Buckie, Scotland.
Elgin Sheriff Court heard that 60 sheep were found hanging from a rail bleeding to death and 40 more were shorn awaiting slaughter.
Jones had already been banned from keeping animals for life nearly six years ago.
In April 1999, he admitted causing unnecessary suffering to animals and failing to dispose of carcasses which dogs had access to, after a lengthy investigation by Ceredigion environmental health officers.
He was banned by Lampeter magistrates from ever keeping animals again.
Jones later moved to Scotland, to Backies Farm, Buckie, from where he ran his illegal slaughterhouse and delivered 'smokies' to halal butchers in England in his battered van. Criminal gangs make vast fortunes by selling sub-standard meat for use in 'smokies', a meat delicacy eaten at religious and holiday festivals by people from Nigeria and Ghana. Because they have a burnt appearance, consumers have no way of knowing the condition of the original meat.
In 2002, Jones was caught in London delivering 200 'smokie' carcasses plus decomposing sheep heads.
When health inspectors visited his farm in Grampian, Jones said that he was supplying 'smokies' to butchers shops in areas where there was a large West African or Jamaican community.
Heath inspectors and a Scottish Executive vet found blowtorches, LPG cylinders and buckets of sheep parts in outbuildings on the farm.
Jones admitted the throats of the sheep were cut without the animals first being stunned. Defence solicitor Ian Cruickshank said his client did not "shy away from the fact that conditions were entirely unsatisfactory for slaughtering".
"He knows that Muslims are very particular and fastidious about the production of their food," he said. "But the products were not sold to the public, just to halal butchers."
Sheriff Cameron said: "It doesn't take much to see the resulting risk of infection, to which you were wholly indifferent to.
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