Concerns have been raised that drugs used to treat horses suffering from illness during their lifetime namely phenylbutazone, commonly called Bute, which is given to horses for the treatment of lameness, pain and fever, may have entered the human food chain, following the discovery of high levels of horse meat found in burger products sold in the UK's supermarkets and fast food restaurants.

The BBC reported that Shadow environment secretary Mary Creagh speaking in the Commons said she had evidence that several horses slaughtered in UK abattoirs last year tested positive for Bute, a drug which potentially causes cancer in humans and is banned from the human food chain.

However Agriculture secretary David Heath said the Food Standards Agency carry out checks in slaughterhouses to ensure that equine animals presented for slaughter are fit for human consumption in the same way as they do for cattle, sheep and other animals. He added that any drugs administered during the horse's life would be recorded on their passport.

However the issue and validity of horse passports have come into question as there is no national data base to track the information precisely. And there have also been cases widespread cases reported of illegal passports being issued. But as the scandal continues the investigation is widening into where the suppliers buy their meat from.

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Written and presented by Ann Salter