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Banned meat seized in police raid

10 December 2013

Police have seized meat from 40 wild animals, including porcupines, gazelles, bats and caterpillars in a raid on a French food shop.

The Parisian eatery received the 200lb from the Central African Republic, all of which was described as unfit for human consumption. The shop owner is to be questioned about the haul of five porcupines, 15 gazelles and 20 bats which were found in three freezers. The incident adds to controversy over animal rights in France, where exotic animals are legally used in fine dining.

“Without knowing the specific species concerned of porcupine, gazelle or bat it is difficult to say whether or not they would be granted an import licence,” said Mark Powell, of the UK management body of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. “But it is highly possible that they would be from animals on the endangered species list, therefore it would be illegal to import or sell them.”

It is not known if food authorities would allow the meat to be sold if it was brought through official channels.

A source close to the inquiry told Le Parisien: “This meat came with absolutely no hygiene guarantees, and is thus unfit for consumption.”

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