EXPERTS have warned that eating black-market meat could be putting people’s health at risk.

Without checks on their health, the butchered animals could be carrying diseases, or the meat could be contaminated.

Roy Porter, who runs a butchers in Chatburn, said: “It is very worrying from the point of view of the animals’ welfare.

“Quite often when they are killed illegally, they are not shot using the right equipment.”

Geoff Riley, who runs Riley’s Butchers, in Crawshawbooth, said: “It is shocking to hear about this kind of thing.

“The problem is there is a market for anything if it is cheap enough.”

PC Chew said those who bought illegal meat were at risk of contracting diseases.

He said: “Part of the issue is that you do not know what you are getting if you buy this kind of meat.

“There might not have been the proper checks done on it to make sure it has not got any diseases, worms, or TB, that could be passed on to humans.

“We are taking a tough stance on this type of rural crime, with joint patrols with partner agencies, land owners, and gamekeepers taking place.”