Fears on stray horses in Tipton being used for food
Fears have been raised that stray horses roaming Tipton could be ending up in the food chain.
It comes as farming bosses call for stricter control on 'shambolic' horse passport regulations in the wake of the horse meat scandal.
Farmers are concerned the horses, known as fly grazers, are being shipped across the border to abattoirs on the continent using forged passports.
And there are worries these fly grazers could include horses which are left to roam on land, or are tethered, in Tipton.
Sandwell councillor Derek Rowley said: "There are foals in Tipton and when they are six months old they mysteriously go missing, and they have done for years.
"There have always been rumours the horse owners are shipping the foals to Belgium.
"I don't know what to believe, but they go somewhere because they are not stopping round here."
The National Farmers Union was due to discuss the issue at its national conference at the ICC in Birmingham today and tomorrow. NFU adviser David Collier said: "It does seem quite plausible that horses from Tipton are ending up in the food chain, as a growing number are dumped on public land and playing fields."