Demand for Scottish meat increases despite horsemeat scandal

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Rural Affairs and Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said demand for Scottish meat has gone up since the start of horsemeat scandal, because of its reputation for good quality, on 19 February 2013.

Mr Lochhead was delivering a ministerial statement on the issue of horsemeat substitution in Europe.

He said sales at some butchers were up by more than a fifth, while meat processing firms had reported an increase in orders.

The minister also reassured MSPs there was no evidence the scandal was an issue in Scotland and work was under way to keep horsemeat out of the food chain.

Scottish Labour MSP Claire Baker accused the government of having reacted slowly and saying light touch regulation had failed.

Her colleague Hanzala Malik MSP said attention should be given to religious needs following the discovery of pork in supposedly halal food.

"This is a high concern for those with religious dietary requirements," he said.

Scottish Conservative MSP Alex Fergusson, who has a background in farming, said supermarket pricing had played a part in the problem.

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