Food Law News - UK - 2010

FSA News Item, 10 November 2010

MEAT HYGIENE - Agency seeks views on charging for official controls in meat plants

A copy of the full consultation package is available on this site. See: FSA Consultation - Meat Hygiene Charges

The Food Standards Agency has begun a consultation on proposals to charge the UK meat industry the full cost of official controls on meat. The consultation includes a commitment by the FSA to further reduce the cost of these ‘meat official controls’ in Great Britain from £55.5m to £50m over the next four years.

About official controls

Official controls on meat hygiene and animal welfare at slaughter are carried out by official veterinarians and meat hygiene inspectors in slaughterhouses, meat cutting plants and game handling establishments. The controls, which are a legal requirement under EU law, help ensure that these businesses meet their legal obligations on meat hygiene and animal welfare.

The FSA is responsible for the controls in the UK and, under the current system, the Agency charges businesses for part of the cost of delivering them. However, these charges do not cover the full cost. The FSA subsidises the industry for the remaining amount, which is therefore a cost to the taxpayer.

FSA Board decision

In November 2009, the FSA Board decided that, as the regulator of the industry, the Agency should not be providing a subsidy. The Board agreed that the FSA should consult with industry and stakeholders on the proposal to recover full costs for official meat controls.

FSA commitments

The FSA recognises that implementing this decision is of concern to industry, so in putting these proposals forward, the Agency has committed to the following:

Views welcome

The FSA is keen to hear views on the proposals from all sectors of the industry and other organisations. The final decision on which options to recommend to Ministers will be taken by the FSA Board, and will take into account the comments received through this consultation.

The closing date is Tuesday 1 February 2011.


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