Consultation on interim charges to approved meat premises
Friday 16 November 2007
The Food Standards Agency is today publishing a consultation paper on increased charges to approved meat premises for 2008/9.
The FSA is suggesting a general increase in charges of 8%, which would mean a maximum additional charge to a slaughterhouse of £14.14 per 100 cows, £7.35 per 100 pigs, and £2.83 per 100 sheep.
The Food Standards Agency currently subsidises the costs of official hygiene checks in approved meat premises by over £30m a year, approximately 60% of the costs of the controls. The new proposals would increase charges to businesses by approximately £1.5 million in 2008/9.
The new charges would represent a step towards increasing the level of charges for official controls at approved premises (slaughterhouses, cutting plants and game plants) towards full cost recovery while, at the same time, action is being taken by the Meat Hygiene Service (MHS) to reduce the overall cost of those controls.
Peter Hewson, the Agency's Deputy Veterinary Director, said: 'We believe this increase is reasonable, but we are keen to hear the views of industry and interested parties. Any increase in charges to industry will of course go hand in hand with the programme to further reduce costs of the MHS while continuing to provide efficient controls to protect the consumer.'
The consultation will close on 11 January 2008.