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NFUS Echoes Call for Suspended Vet Charges

by 5m Editor
15 October 2008, at 9:09am

SCOTLAND - NFU Scotland (NFUS) has echoed the call from Scotland’s meat processors to suspend proposed increases in charges for meat testing.

NFUS believes that the proposed increases to be imposed by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) are being forced through with little meaningful analysis on affordability and without recognising that the current system of testing for veterinary medicine residues is disproportionate.


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"The livestock industry and meat processors are working in an environment of increasing costs and continued resistance from retailers to deliver a price which fairly reflects costs of production."
Nigel Miller, NFUS Vice President

NFUS Vice President Nigel Miller said, “This just looks like more of the same from the UK Government and its agencies. They are pursuing a policy of cost-dumping onto industry with little attempt to review the proportionality of charges and effectiveness of the services.

“The livestock industry and meat processors are working in an environment of increasing costs and continued resistance from retailers to deliver a price which fairly reflects costs of production. That commercial pressure is being exacerbated by disproportionate regulatory costs coming from a variety of departments and agencies.

“Clearly we need regulation in this area to ensure confidence in our products, however we seem to have a sledgehammer to crack a nut. The figures show that there is an almost non-existent problem with drug residues, and where there are issues identified, they are usually found in imported meat. Therefore, rather than disproportionately targeting animals here, they should demand a level of testing in third countries, the costs of which are covered by importers.

“In the VMD’s own impact assessment, it points out that the European Commission is about to undertake a full review of the legislation behind this testing programme. A more sensible approach would be for it to work with industry to influence that process rather than simply dump its costs onto a sector which can ill-afford to bear them.”