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Warning Europol’s investigation into forged passports only unveils ‘the tip of the iceberg’ *H&H Plus*

World Horse Welfare chief executive Roly Owers has warned that trafficking of horses with forged documents is only “the tip of the iceberg”, with the activity also linked to other illicit trades. H&H finds out more...

A Europol investigation that found competition horses with forged passports are making their way into the food chain has only uncovered “the tip of the iceberg”.

The six-month Opson IX operation, targeting slaughterhouses in Ireland, Belgium, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands, found some 20% of foreign horse passports showed signs of forgery. The investigation led to both live horses and more than 17 tonnes of horsemeat being seized.

World Horse Welfare chief executive Roly Owers told H&H the findings came as “no surprise”, as there is a “huge” black market in forged equine passports.

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