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Caithness News Bulletins February 2004

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25 February 04
GIBSON SUPPORTS MOTION RESISTING PRIVATISATION OF MEAT INSPECTION SERVICE

SNP MSP for the Highlands and Islands Rob Gibson has added his support for Stewart Maxwell's motion to resist the privatisation of the Meat Inspection Service.  The service is under threat of privatisation from the European Union.

Mr Gibson said...."Privatisation of the service would have far reaching consequences for society and the economy."

He explained..."If the service is privatised then profit may become the main concern as opposed to high standards. This will impact negatively on the meat in the food chain which will endanger consumer's health and also give Scottish meat an unsafe reputation, which will cripple the farmers who are trying to get back on their feet after recent food scares."

He added..."Scottish meat is some of the safest and cleanest meat in Europe yet this doesn't mean that standards should be compromised as all it takes is one infected carcass to stigmatise a whole country's produce. We've already seen cost cutting in the Meat Hygiene Service vet contracts. The service itself has to be maintained in the public service."

"The EU wants to impose the same system as already exists in the USA but a report into the US system has said that it has failed. If that is the case then why should it happen here? it makes no sense?"

Stewart Maxwell's motion is:
*S2M-955 Mr Stewart Maxwell: A Recipe for Disaster-That the Parliament supports UNISON's campaign to oppose EU plans for the privatisation of meat inspection: shares its concerns for the safety of Scottish meat if these plans go ahead: notes the recent report by the US Department of Agriculture on the failure of the privatised Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points System-based meat inspection system in the USA and the fact that the EU wants to impose the same system on Scotland's meat hygiene industry, and urges the Scottish Executive to oppose this privatisation and fight to keep meat inspection in the hands of independent government inspectors.
* Stewart Maxwell is a SNP List MSP for the West of Scotland

Links
Meat Hygene Service

Donít privatise meat inspection: campaign bulletin Jan 04

Should the UK privatise Meat Inspection?
Will Standards Fall for the Sake Of Profits?
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