Large quantities of meat and poultry have been confiscated by health inspectors in Athens, as officials have stepped up checks at retail and wholesale butchers ahead of the Easter holidays, when meat consumption peaks after a traditional 40-day period of fasting. Athens prefecture officials seized 1,100 lamb carcasses, weighing a total of 21.5 tons, in supermarkets, butchers’ shops and meat wholesalers during 291 inspections between April 20-23, it was announced yesterday. The meat was deemed unfit for human consumption. Yesterday, the Agriculture Ministry announced that a load of 1,327 lambs from Romania was stopped at the Promachonas border crossing in northern Greece, as they did not comply with public health criteria, and were returned to Romania. Furthermore, 800 chickens were confiscated at a Haidari retailer. Meanwhile, butchers at the Athens central meat market said yesterday that consumption had only dropped 15 percent in the weeks ahead of Easter, showing that Greeks are abandoning the Lenten tradition.