BUTCHERS are seeing a rise in trade in the wake of the horsemeat scandal.

Shopkeepers in Bolton say customers who previously went to supermarkets are turning to independent butchers for reassurance and to learn more about the meat they eat.

The horsemeat scandal has exposed some meat supply chains spanning six European countries and sometimes involving eight different firms.

Greg Hull, owner of Fraser’s Butchers in Rishton Lane, Great Lever, said sales of fresh beef, lamb and pork and prepared minced beef meals — including lasagne, bolognese and burgers — had risen by up to 22 per cent.

Mr Hull, aged 52, said: “We are a member of the Q-Guild, an association of master butchers, and all our meat is fully traceable.

“We know where every single animal has come from and we deal with farmers personally.

We know that our carcasses really are pigs, lambs and cattle.

There are no horses slipped in.”

He said the two abattoirs that the shop uses are in Shaw, near Oldham, and John Penny and Sons in Rawdon, near Leeds.

He added: “We’re here to run a business, but not at any expense. We have no shareholders.

I’d stand on the highest building to shout that our meat is fully traceable.

“We used to be supplied by a beef farmer in the Shetlands but it went out of business because the supermarkets kept forcing the prices down.

“People should really use their local greengrocers, fishmongers and butchers.”

Blackrod butcher Jamie McRobb said sales had risen at his shop too.

The 21-year-old took over the business, which employs three staff, 18 months ago. He said: “We’ve seen a lot of people who used to go to supermarkets coming back to the butcher.

“Our meat is local or from farms as close as we can get.

Beef comes from an Aberdeen Angus herd behind the shop reared by Richard Ashworth.

“Lamb and pork is also local, from Westhoughton, and our homemade sausages and bacon are made with the same meat.

We use the Blacklidge slaughterhouse in Wigan. We know everyone in the supply chain.”

Joseph Carr, manager of Carrs Pasties in Bolton, which makes pasties and meat pies, said: “All our beef comes from local farms and we then mince it ourselves here. We only use the best beef possible and nothing is processed. We know it’s beef and nothing else.

“We also supply pasties to local schools and people can be sure that our meat comes from local farms. We only use the best ingredients.”

Sandra Ogden, head of retail operations at Lostock-based baker Greenhalghs, added: “We would like to assure customers all the meat used in our products is from approved suppliers who have been through a rigorous supplier approval process.”