Scots overwhelmingly support meat inspectors staying independent, says UNISON

Wednesday 15 April 2015

UNISON Scotland are highlighting an independent survey showing that Scots want slaughterhouses to be independently inspected by government meat safety inspectors.

This polling is released when there is continued pressure from Europe to de-regulate meat inspectors, and when meat inspectors have been brought into a new Scottish Government Agency, Food Standards Scotland.

UNISON Scotland has released the independent polling, from Ispos MORI, showing that almost all Scots (98%) believe that official slaughterhouses should be inspected to ensure they are meeting food safety and quality standards; the vast majority of Scots (95%) believe that slaughterhouses should continue to operate to official standards; three quarters of Scots also believe slaughterhouses should be inspected independently (75%), and majority of Scots (70%) also agree that standards are more likely to be met if they are carried out by government inspectors.

Dave Watson, UNISON Scottish organiser, said:
“This report is a timely reminder to Scottish Government that food safety is a priority for Scots. Scots believe the meat trade should be independently inspected and regulated, and they think that meat inspection should be carried out by government inspectors.

“This is too important to get wrong.

“We have been concerned about the lighter touch regulation which has been promoted across UK and EU meat trades. The Scottish Government’s new agency Food Standards Scotland must ensure we maintain a strong, well regulated, independent meat inspection regime.”


Notes for editors:

• UNISON is the biggest trade union in Scotland and represents meat inspectors.

• The independent polling was carried out by Ipsos MORI, published in February 2015, and can be read here:

• Previous UNISON press release on deregulation of the meat trade

• Scottish Government brought food safety into a new Food Standards Scotland on 1 April 2015. Food Standards Scotland has a new broader remit to consider consumer protection more generally. It includes making sure food is safe to eat but also food labelling and improving nutrition.

For more information please contact:
Dave Watson, UNISON Scottish organiser, 0141 342 2840 / 07958 122409
Danny Phillips, UNISON communications officer 0141 342 2877 / 07944 664 110