Leaders of the farming industry have comdemned the Food Standards Agency's (FSA) plans to force the meat sector to pay all the costs of official inspections in meat plants, according the Country Land and Business Association (CLA).
Eigh signatories from organisations including the CLA, NFU and National Federation of Meat and Food Traders say that passing the cost of inspections onto the meat sector will cost the industry up to £25m. The letters says this will lead to the competitiveness, sustainability and viability of British livestock farming being put at risk.
The organisations believe that charging the full cost of inspections should be revisited once they are "risk-based and affordable and that currently they are neither and would lead to the closure of large and small abattoirs".
The letter states: "The FSA proposal is ill-considered and will cause irreparable damage to the meat and livestock industry and consequently to the food economy, employment, consumer choice, future food security, landscape and the environment."