Scots could act on meat hygiene bills

17 September 1999

Scots could act on meat hygiene bills

SCOTLAND could go it alone in reducing meat hygiene service costs at abattoirs.

Scottish farm minister Ross Finnie has promised an urgent appraisal of the inspection system and its costs.

During last weeks meeting of the Scottish Parliaments rural affairs committee, Mr Finnie said he was keen to see a system of risk management rather than "having inspections of every little thing".

The minister has since moved to begin a review of the whole cost structure within farming. Nothing is being ruled out and Mr Finnie is said to be determined to find cost-cutting solutions.

He has told farming leaders that something must be done to stop the treadmill of increasing aid going to farming without any improvement in net income.

He could move swiftly on meat inspection charges. Those involving the Meat Hygiene Service are devolved in Scotland, although specified risk material (SRM) charges apply nationally.

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