To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what information he has on the current charges levied in EC member states for meat inspection.
I refer my hon. Friend to the answer that my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food gave on 9 March 1992, Official Report, column 403.The position regarding levels of meat inspection charges in other member states remains unclear. It appears that some have yet to introduce national legislation to bring them into line with the EC decision on harmonisation of charges. Certain others, such as Spain and Germany, have legislated at a regional, rather than a national, level. Detailed national information is currently only available with regard to France and Denmark. In France, the published charges in francs per kilogramme for 1991 were as follows:
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- For pigs— the actual cost of inspection.
- For cattle—the "EC Standard" charge.
- For poultry—approximately 250 per cent. of the "EC Standard" charge (two thirds of the actual cost).