HC Deb 11 January 2000 vol 342 cc154-5W
Mr. Breed

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in what proportion of the time official veterinary surgeons spend in abattoirs and meat processing plants they are not engaged in inspection duties. [103400]

Ms Quin

Only a very small proportion (estimated at around 1 per cent.) of the time spent by Official Veterinary Surgeons (OVSs) in abattoirs and meat processing plants is not engaged on inspection duties.

The remainder and vast majority of the time charged by OVSs in abattoirs and meat processing plants is spent on carrying out statutory inspection duties or on activities which directly support them. These duties include: ante mortem and post mortem inspection and hygiene supervision; the supervision of SRM controls; the supervision of animal welfare; and associated administrative activities. The Meat Hygiene Service does not analyse time in plants below that directly chargeable to operators.