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Welsh Gov't Must Act To Stop Full Cost Recovery

26 May 2011

UK - Following today’s decision at the Food Standards Agency (FSA) Board meeting in Belfast to push forward with plans to recover full costs for meat controls from the livestock industry NFU Cymru will ask the Welsh Government to intervene.

NFU Cymru believes the proposals will impact heavily on the competitiveness and sustainability of the red and white meat sectors and it has called for an urgent and comprehensive review of existing controls to be carried out to find efficiencies and identify viable alternatives in the current system.

NFU Cymru Livestock Board Chairman Peter Davies said, “Only last week the Defra commissioned review by Richard Macdonald into reducing regulation highlighted a number of ways in which the meat hygiene service can be changed, within current EU legislation, and offered significant savings to industry. Allowing meat processors to source meat inspection services from accredited private-sector providers within a system managed by the competent authority is just one example.

“It therefore makes no sense for the FSA board to progress down this route of full cost recovery without firstly giving due consideration to the recommendations made both by industry bodies and within the Macdonald report for a cost effective and efficient inspection regime.

“Whilst we note that the board has recognised some of the concerns that have been raised repeatedly by NFU Cymru and other industry representatives in Wales and amended their original proposals to allow a greater proportion of ‘low throughput’ abattoirs to receive some level of support we remain fundamentally opposed to industry having to pick up the costs of an out-dated and disproportionate inspection regime.

“Following today’s Board decision the FSA will now need to discuss the next steps with Ministers in all four countries of the UK. NFU Cymru will be asking the Welsh Government to ensure that a comprehensive review of current meat hygiene controls is completed before any final decision is taken on full cost recovery.”

TheCattleSite News Desk



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