SAMW: time for change for meat inspection

The Scottish meat and livestock industry has been told that the time has come to “break the mould” when it comes to charging for meat hygiene inspection services.

Speaking at the annual Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers (SAMW) conference in Glasgow, held at the weekend, president Alan Craig outlined why his organisation was backing moves for a devolved Scottish system to replace the current Food Standards Agency (FSA) service.

He announced that an all-industry meeting, designed to “agree the way forward for the setting up of a Scottish Meat Inspection System” was due to be held before the Scottish elections take place on 5 May.

Craig said: “To realise our current potential, and hopefully unlock future growth and development, we need the right structures, the right systems and the right people working for us and with us.  Not against us.

““This is why we opted to pursue the model of a separate Scottish Meat Inspection System. It’s a solution we believe could help ease some of the pressures on our industry rather than add to them. It’s a solution which could include practical input from industry in meat inspection, rather than exclude those who actually depend on product safety and purity for their livelihood. It’s a solution which, frankly, makes sense.”

He added: “We obviously must have unity of purpose across our industry as we move forward. There is, in fact, already sufficient evidence of agreement and support to indicate that a Scottish Meat Inspection development roadmap can be placed on the new Minister’s desk at the Scottish government within weeks, if not days, of the new administration taking office.  

“That, certainly, is our objective.”

He was backed by Alyn Smith, MEP, who told conference delegates: “I fully support your efforts for a special separate meat inspection regime.”

>> Devolved Scottish inspection system mooted