The investigation, which began at the end of 2012 after authorities received an anonymous tip, is focused on horses used by the Sanofi Pasteur laboratory in Alba-la-Romaine possibly being sold to butchers, Radio France Internationale reported.
"Is is not the same as the horse meat affair last year," Consumer Affairs Minister Benoît Hamon said on France's RTL radio station. "This seems to be about horses which should have ended up in the slaughterhouse and might instead found their way into butcher shops as meat."
Alain Bernal, a spokesperson for Sanofi Pasteur, has denied the allegations, saying, "we have cooperated and will continue to cooperate with the authorities on this. It could involve several hundred horses if trafficking has been going on for several years."
Sanofi Pasteur "uses horses in the fabrication of serums, medicines which save human lives, for example to protect humans from rabies, tetanus, snake venoms," Bernal said.
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