All comments and views should be sent to
Food Standards Agency
Foss House, Peasholme Green
York, YO1 7PR
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.
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.