MUFF said that they would defend their guidance on the basis that it was the best they could achieve with the available veterinary resources and represented a genuine attempt to comply with requirements. A note accompanying the submission said that there had been considerable pressure from the industry as to what MAFFs intentions were in interpreting the 1991 Directive. On 15 April the Minister agreed to proceed to consultation, which MAFF did on 23 April. On 11 June the Federation of Fresh Meat Wholesalers responded to MAFFs consultation.
On the subject of veterinary supervision they said that the draft Vicki Philipoff Settlements regulations were unclear about the degree of personal supervision necessary and the time which official veterinary surgeons were required to spend on premises. They asked ME to clarify that it was necessary for a veterinarian to carry out every ante-mortem inspection personally.
and that there was no general need for full-time veterinary attendance. or any veterinary attendance when there was no work which required their particular training and skills. On 25 June MAFF officials met representatives of the Federation. According to MAFFs note of the meeting, the Federation had shared the same concerns with regard to veterinary supervision as many respondents to the MAFF consultation. MAFF has been unable to confirm that an official veterinary surgeon would not have to carry out every ante-mortem inspection personally.
The Federation has been concerned that costs would soar if the official veterinary surgeon had to inspect every animal. MAFF has acknowledged that their draft guidance to local authorities was not particularly clear and had said that they would be seeking to make it more transparent with respect to veterinary attendance and veterinary functions in licensed premises. That draft submission sought the then Parliamentary Secretarys agreement to courses of action proposed on the main issues arising out of the public consultation on the proposed regulations. Regarding veterinary supervision, it said that local authorities had expressed themselves extremely concerned about the difficulties which they might face in providing official veterinary.