News & Updates

Transfer of Official Veterinarians and Meat Hygiene Inspection Function to Food Standards Scotland

Food Standards Scotland (FSS) has taken the difficult decision to end its contract with Hallmark Meat Hygiene Ltd. Hallmark supplies Official Veterinarians and Meat Hygiene Inspectors to undertake controls to support Scotland’s important meat, game and poultry industries. 

FSS will deliver this function from 16 September 2019, and the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE) will be applied to determine whether Hallmark staff are in scope to transfer to FSS. This decision was taken after careful consideration of all the options. 

FSS’s primary objective remains to ensure that the high safety and animal welfare standards in Scotland’s meat industry are not compromised, and that consumers’ interests are protected.

Ian McWatt, Chief Operating Officer at Food Standards Scotland said:

“Staff who are entitled to transfer to FSS under TUPE will become FSS employees.  We believe this is the most effective of the options considered – and allows FSS greater opportunity to offer career development opportunities for veterinary staff. This difficult decision has the support of Scottish Ministers.”

Background

  • Following a full public sector procurement exercise, FSS awarded a Framework Agreement to Hallmark Veterinary and Compliance Services in December 2017, which commenced on 1 April 2018

  • Approved slaughterhouses are not be able to operate without the presence of an Official Vet and Meat Hygiene Inspector

  • FSS has given Hallmark Meat Hygiene Ltd 3 months’ notice

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