HC Deb 12 July 1996 vol 281 cc345-6W
Mr. Colvin

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what targets have been set for the Meat Hygiene Service in 1996–97. [37729]

Mr. Douglas Hogg

My right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Scotland and for Wales and I have set the following targets for the Meat Hygiene Service in 1996–97. These take account of the recent expansion of the duties of the Meat Hygiene Service in relation to BSE.Financial Performance To charge plant operators the full economic cost—calculated in accordance with the relevant charging legislation and accruals accounting—of providing the statutory health inspection and controls at fresh meat premises, taking account of any interim support. To recover from Government Departments and agencies the full economic costs of providing agreed services or other work undertaken on their behalf. To comply with budgetary controls resulting from PES and the Supply Estimates as revised in the light of the BSE situation. Operational To take all necessary measures to ensure that the slaughterhouse industry fully complies with the legislation applying to specified bovine material. To achieve an overall 3 per cent. improvement in the ratios of overhead to total costs, compared with 1995–96. To ensure the animal welfare and slaughter/processing provisions are enforced fully in all slaughterhouses including when operating under the calf processing scheme and the over 30 months cattle slaughter scheme. Quality and Delivery of Service To apply hygiene requirements in such a way as to raise the levels of compliance in both fresh meat and poultry meat slaughterhouses so that two thirds of all slaughterhouses in each category attain a HAS score of at least 65 by the end of 1996–97. To provide a formal training programme for all MHS meat inspectors, meat technicians and OVSs in animal welfare by the end of 1996–97. To carry out a customer satisfaction survey to assess service delivery by the end of 1996–97.

I should also like to draw attention to the fact that the MHS has been instructed on my behalf to carry out new tasks in connection with BSE-related matters. These are administration of emergency aid payments to eligible slaughterhouses and enforcement of SBM controls. On behalf of the IBEA the MHS is also supervising and controlling the slaughter and processing of animals under the calf processing and 30 months plus schemes.

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