Funding dispute threatening butchers and small abattoirs resolved

A dispute over the funding of food safety controls including veterinary inspection, which had threatened to shut 120 butchers and abattoirs at the end of next month, has been resolved, according to the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI).

The dispute broke out between local authorities and the FSAI because the Local Authority Veterinary Service (LAVS) is due to finish at the end of November.

The nub of the issue, according to the Associated Craft Butchers of Ireland (ACBI), was a €1.2 million shortfall. Local authorities had sought funding of €7.8 million and were offered €6.6 million.

Agreement

In a statement on the matter today (Thursday, October 29), the food safety authority said: “The FSAI and the Department of Health have worked very hard to resolve the issue with the local authorities.

“The FSAI is pleased to confirm that the County and City Management Association (CCMA) has agreed to continue to provide food safety controls in the small slaughterhouses and meat processing establishments under local authority supervision after November 30, 2020.

This means that there will be no change to how food safety controls are carried out in these food businesses from December 1, 2020.

“This will ensure continued supervision of these small slaughterhouses and meat processing establishments and the continued protection of consumer health,” the FSAI statement concluded.