UK concern over possible meat costs

16-11-2010 | | |

More than £21million in charges for meat hygiene services could be passed onto livestock producers after the UK Food Standards Agency launched a consultation to reduce its costs.

The meat controls are a legal requirement and ensure that meat hygiene and animal welfare at slaughter are carried out by official veterinarians and meat hygiene inspectors in slaughterhouses. However the NFU is very concerned about new moves to place all meat hygiene costs on the livestock industry.

NFU livestock board chairman Alistair Mackintosh said: “This news is very concerning for the livestock industry especially farmers who will undoubtedly face the brunt of the charges. The FSA has admitted that the majority of the costs will be placed back on the producer.”

NFU poultry board chairman Charles Bourns added: “Poultry producers are under enormous pressure at the moment following huge increases in the price of feed ingredients. Poultry farmers will have to absorb a portion of the £21million in costs, reportedly coming the industry’s way, which is an unnecessary burden.

“Meat hygiene controls remain a legal requirement and provide a wider service to society. It cannot simply be said that these controls are a business service for which a charge to industry can be applied.”