The draft Regulations propose two amendments to the Charges Regulations:
Charges for inspections at licensed re-packaging centres
The Charges Regulations implement in Great Britain the provisions relating to the charges for meat hygiene/welfare inspections set out in Council Directive 85/73/EEC (as amended) on the financing of veterinary inspections and controls (the 'Charges Directive'). They provide for the MHS to recover the costs of carrying out hygiene/welfare inspections at licensed slaughterhouses, game handling and processing facilities, cutting plants, re-wrapping centres and cold stores.
The Charges Regulations do not currently provide for the MHS to recover the costs of carrying out hygiene inspections at licensed fresh meat re-packaging centres in Wales. We therefore propose to amend the Charges Regulations to bring these premises within the scope for charging purposes. This provision has already been brought into effect through parallel Regulations in England and Scotland.
Non Payment of Hygiene Inspection Charges
The draft Regulations also provide that where a plant operator has failed to pay the meat hygiene/welfare inspection charges, has had a Court judgement entered against him for the sum owed, and has subsequently failed within a reasonable time to settle the debt, the Food Standards Agency may decide to withdraw the MHS inspection services from the premises in respect of which the debt accrued until the debt has been satisfied. Although not laid down in the draft Regulations, the FSA propose that the MHS would give the premises operator advance warning of withdrawal of services so as not to jeopardise animal welfare.