SCOTLAND: Black market food alert over cattle rustling
Posted: June 24th, 2012 - 8:38pm
Health experts have warned about the dangers of buying black-market meat, as soaring food prices have led to a sharp increase in livestock theft – with sheep rustling rising threefold in Scotland.
They say that customers who believe they are getting a bargain Sunday roast are putting themselves and their families at risk from deadly bacteria such as E coli and salmonella.
Rural insurers NFU Mutual said livestock rustling “rocketed” in Scotland last year, with claims rising by 165 per cent.
The crime, in popular imagination associated with historical figures such as Rob Roy MacGregor and Ned Kelly, is on the increase thanks to rising demand from shoppers, restaurants and takeaways for cheaper meat.
The all-time high price of lamb – a leg can now cost up to £40 – and the animals’ small, easily transportable size is making them a target for thieves.