Official controls charges in meat premises: a proposal for a new discount system

Last updated:
9 March 2015
This consultation seeks stakeholders’ views on proposed changes to the method of applying a discount to full cost charges for meat hygiene and welfare at slaughter official controls.


Who will this consultation be of most interest to?
The operators of approved slaughterhouses, cutting plants, games handling establishments, on-farm slaughter facilities, the industry organisations that represent their interests, their suppliers, customers and other interested parties.

What is the subject of this consultation?
Proposed changes to the discounts applied to official controls charges and welfare at slaughter official controls currently carried out in Britain by the Food Standards Agency, and in Northern Ireland by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Veterinary Public Health Unit on behalf of the Food Standards Agency, to apply from 28 March 2016 in England and Wales. A separate consultation on the proposed changes is being launched in parallel by FSA in Northern Ireland. With effect from 1 April 2015 official controls in Scotland will be delivered by Food Standards Scotland (FSS) and after this date FSS will be responsible for charging.

What is the purpose of this consultation?
To seek stakeholders’ views on proposed changes to the method of applying a discount to full cost charges for meat hygiene and welfare at slaughter official controls, subject to the EU minimum requirements, as proposed to the Food Standards Agency Board by the Steering Group for Meat Charges.

Consultation details

At its September 2012 meeting, the Food Standards Agency Board asked the meat industry to work with the FSA to develop a meat industry discount system that promotes efficiency, supports improving compliance (within a de-regulatory remit), appropriately supports small and medium-sized enterprises and provides a balanced discount arrangement that seeks to achieve a more balanced and more equitable system.

Industry representatives from the production and processing sectors were invited to set up the Steering Group for Meat Charging under an independent Chair – Bill Stow. The Steering Group consists of fifteen representatives from across the production and processing sectors, the independent Chair and a FSA Board member.

The Steering Group has proposed and considered the impact of a number of options for changes to the method used to allocate discounts, arriving at a broad consensus in July 2014 which was presented to the FSA Board, at its September 2014 meeting, by the Chair of the Steering Group.

The FSA Board accepted the proposals for the discount changes and asked FSA to launch a 12-week consultation based on the agreed proposals. This is the consultation to cover these proposals.

The agreed proposals for the consultation were:

  • the implementation of a new discount system on charges for official controls
  • that discounts should be applied based on usage of FSA staff time with the level of discount reducing as more hours are utilised
  • that there should be a supplementary discount for slaughterhouses employing Plant Inspection Assistants to carry out official controls
  • that discounts should not be applied to cutting premises

These proposed arrangements would be introduced from the start of 2016/17.


Further information

This consultation has been prepared in accordance with HM Government Consultation Principles. If an Impact Assessment (Business Regulatory Impact Assessment in Scotland) has been produced, this is included in the consultation documents. If no Impact Assessment has been provided, the reason will be given in the consultation document.

We are interested in what you thought of this consultation and would therefore welcome your general feedback on both the consultation package and overall consultation process. If you would like to assist us to improve the quality of future consultations, please feel free to share your thoughts with us by using the consultation feedback questionnaire.

Publication of personal data and confidentiality of responses

In accordance with the FSA principle of openness we shall keep a copy of the completed consultation and responses, to be made available to the public on request. The FSA will publish a summary of responses, which may include personal data, such as your full name. Disclosure of any other personal data would be made only upon request for the full consultation responses. If you do not want this information to be released, please complete and return the Publication of Personal Data Form. Return of this form does not mean that we will treat your response to the consultation as confidential, just your personal data.

Publication of response summary