FSA outlines impact of increases in MHS charges on species being slaughtered

The FSA has outlined what the additional cost will be for slaughterhouses for each meat species following the 8% increase in Meat Hygiene Service hourly charge.

The FSA has outlined what the additional cost will be for slaughterhouses for each meat species following the 8% increase in Meat Hygiene Service hourly charge.

It will mean a maximum additional charge to a slaughterhouse of £5.62 per 100 cows, £2.83 per 100 pigs, £1.98 per 100 sheep and £16.96 per 100 tonnes of meat.

The FSA said the increases follow a full consultation and raise the MHS hourly charge and most throughput rates for slaughterhouses and meat cutting plants by 8%. The FSA currently funds approximately 60% of the costs of official hygiene checks in meat premises. Over £30 million a year of public money has been spent on this subsidy and a total of £190 million since 2001. The new charge rates will increase charges to businesses by approximately £1.5 million in 2008/09.

The FSA said the increases are the first step of a planned move towards full cost recovery, which will be phased over several years to enable meat businesses to adjust and to coincide with planned reductions in MHS costs. The aim of this, it said, was to ensure that charge increases are the smallest possible.

The FSA added it will continue to listen to the operators of meat businesses and to farmers to make sure that any further charges that will be introduced in the future are also fair and reasonable and will continue to support those businesses that need extra help.

It is currently in the process of developing future charging proposals with the help and advice of industry bodies and other Government departments. Once this work is finished the proposals will be issued for full public consultation.

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