CELEBRITY chef Rachel Allen is being held in Garda custody today, after a raid by the ISPCA on Ballymaloe House revealed widespread instances of apparent cruelty to a herd of Goots.
Sources have revealed that Allen imported the animals from a black market Goot trader in early 2009, and bred them for dairy purposes on the 400 acre Ballymaloe estate.
The Goot, a rare mammal indigenous to the Middle East, is sought after the world over for its tasty milk, which Allen, 43, used to make her signature Goots cheese, the key ingredient in her Goots cheese tarts, Goots cheese risotto, and Goots cheese toasties, part of her signature range of sandwiches sold in O’Briens Irish Sandwich Cafes around the country.
However, a recent inspection of the Ballymaloe farm by the ISPCA revealed numerous breaches of animal safety guidelines, resulting in Ms. Allen’s subsequent arrest following a dawn raid this morning.
“A team of inspectors investigated the 5,000 head herd of Goots at Ballymaloe and found numerous breaches of animal welfare law, ” said Sergeant Jim Halligan, who arrested Allen this morning.
“As such, we are holding her for 24 hours until formal charges are drawn up. The Goot is a delicate animal which requires special care, and we have reason to believe the Goots at Ballymaloe were being treated cruelly, with some Goots being forced to produce 20 pints of Goots milk on a daily basis”.
The charges against Ms. Allen mark the second time the TV chef has faced allegations of animal cruelty, after a case last year in which she was alleged to have illegally imported hundreds of rare Indonesian Porma birds, which she used to make Porma ham.