Sheffield grocers’ slaughter den shame

Illegal: Saheed Matlub, 38, fined �1,000.
Illegal: Saheed Matlub, 38, fined �1,000.
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A GREENGROCER used the backyard of his Sheffield shop as an illegal makeshift slaughterhouse – killing a goat he bought from a farmer.

Council inspectors swooped on Khawaja and Sons on Page Hall Road and discovered a goat’s carcass in the outside yard, strung up above a drain.

The court was told there was a ‘warm, steaming’ carcass hanging over a hole, where a manhole had been removed so blood flowed into the drain.

A search of the store revealed a skinned goat’s head – banned by the EU from human consumption – ready for sale in the chiller and another in the freezer.

Inspectors rescued nine live goats found in an outbuilding, which have been rehomed at an animal sanctuary.

FULL STORY:

SHOPkeeper Saheed Matlub bought nine goats from a farmer he met at a car boot sale – and slaughtered one of the animals in the backyard of his store.

Father-of-three Saheed Matlub, aged 38, then put the public at risk by selling goats’ heads – banned by the EU from being eaten by humans on health grounds.

Council inspectors raided Khawaja and Sons in Page Hall Road after a tip-off a delivery of goats was due.

When they arrived at the shop, which has its own butchery section, they found a goat’s carcass in the outside yard, strung up above a drain.

Inspectors were able to rescue from a similar fate nine live goats found in an outbuilding. One later turned out to be pregnant.

A search of the store revealed a skinned goat’s head ready for sale in the chiller and another in the freezer.

Paul Barber, prosecuting, told Sheffield Magistrates’ Court: “Inspectors described a ‘warm, steaming’ carcass hanging over a hole, where a manhole had been removed from the ground so blood flowed into the drain.

“EU regulations say that, if you prepare meat which is to be sold to the public, it has to be done in an approved slaughterhouse.

“An aggravating factor is this slaughter was performed over an open sewer.”

Referring to the two goats’ heads in the refrigerators, he added: “There are certain parts of animals you can’t eat and regulations are designed to prevent the spread of disease.

“You are not to sell the heads of goats over 12 months old, as these were, as the risk of disease is greater.”

Father-of-three Saheed Matlub, aged 38, a part-time taxi driver, manned the meat section of his family’s store.

He said he had struck up a deal at a car boot sale to buy the goats from a farmer near Mansfield.

He pleaded guilty to possessing specified risk material for human consumption, and placing products of animal origin on the market which had not been prepared in an approved establishment.

“I am totally apologetic for my actions,” he said.

“Somebody made an offer to me and my greatest mistake was taking it up. It has put a huge strain on my relationship with my father.

“For three or four years the business has been struggling and this has caused a lot of bad publicity.”

Matlub, of Queensway, Rotherham, was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £750 court costs.

The remaining goats saved from slaughter in November last year were taken in by Millhouse Animal Sanctuary in Fulwood, Sheffield.

Two now live on a smallholding in Curbar, and the other seven – plus the kid born safely to the pregnant goat – are enjoying a happy new life in stables at Bents Green.

Sanctuary spokeswoman Pat Hartley said: “They were frightened when they first came to us, very timid, but they’re fine now.

“They’ve got beautiful stables and four acres, they’re having a ball.

“They were quite naughty when they came to us, always trying to climb away, so some have climbing names – Hillary, Hunt, Tenzing, Mallory and Bonington.

“The one which was pregnant is Nanny, and her kid is a little girl we called Phoebe.”