DAVID LEASK and IMRAN AZAM One of Scotland's biggest meat producers has been accused of supplying "fake" Halal lamb to Islamic butchers.

Stirlingshire-based Scotbeef is at the centre of an investigation by leading Muslims to discover how meat that had not been produced in line with sharia law ended up in shops across the country, just in time for last December's Eid-ul-Adha, one of Islam's most important festivals.

The company yesterday admitted some of its supplies had not been Halal but insisted it had explained this to all its customers.

Mosques have published warnings about the supplies on their websites after Glasgow's Ulema, a council of senior Muslim figures in the city, met in emergency session to discuss the issue earlier this month.

Bashir Maan, a former city councillor and senior member of Glasgow Central Mosque, said last night: "There are definitely concerns and we are looking into them."

Mr Maan said investigators had met with Scotbeef but had still to reach a conclusion on how the non-Halal meat, which is called Haram and is slightly cheaper than Halal meat, had come to be delivered for Eid, which fell on December 20.

Many customers were said to have been desperately upset to learn they had eaten meat that was impermissible under their faith on one of their most Holy days. A notice published on the website of Al-Furqan Mosque in Glasgow said: "It was brought to the attention of the elders of the community that one of the biggest suppliers of meat to the Muslim butchers of Scotland, Scotbeef, has ... provided (Muslims) with Haram in the name of Halal. This all was done under the nose of some of our Muslim butchers."

Similar messages - not always naming Scotbeef - were posted on the websites of other mosques, including Glasgow Central Mosque, the country's biggest.

A spokesman for Scotbeef last night said: "As a business, we do not mislead our customers. We had an amicable meeting with representatives of the Muslim community."

A Muslim slaughterman had been absent shortly before Eid and the spokesman said that Scotbeef explained this to its customers before shipping the meat.

Muslims can only eat meat from animals that have been slaughtered in strict accordance with Islamic law. The slaughterman must kill the animal quickly with a sharp knife and must invoke the name of God while doing so.

Muslims traditionally slaughter sheep or goats for Eid-ul-Adha or Feast of Sacrifice, sharing the meat produced with their families and the poor.