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Charges for controls in meat premises

How we charge for activities carried out by us in meat premises.

Who we charge

Food Business Operators (FBOs) of approved meat premises are charged for meat controls. These premises are;

  • slaughterhouses
  • cutting plants
  • game handling establishments
  • on farm slaughtering facilities
  • cutting premises

Why we charge 

We are required to invoice the meat industry by law and HM Treasury guidance, as stated in Managing Public Money, to charge businesses for the services we provide to them. 

Official Veterinarians (OVs) and Meat Hygiene Inspectors (MHIs) help ensure that consumers and exporters have confidence in the meat that is sold here and abroad. 

How we charge 

We charge by the hour for the use of our staff resources, with the addition of some charges for allowances where FBO working patterns lead to this, such as shift working. Discounts may be applied to some of these charges and the smallest slaughterhouses will receive a discount of 90% on all of their charges. See our charges calculator to estimate the charges for the controls at your premises. 

England and Wales

This is regulated by retained EU law and implemented by the domestic legislation that applies in England and Wales.

FBOs of approved meat premises are also charged for :

  • internal movement documentation
  • export certification
  • verification of compliance with other countries' export requirements

We charge Government departments and other customers for work we carry out on their behalf. For example, for checks on animal by-product controls or the provision of expert lecturers to universities.

Northern Ireland

This is regulated by EU official controls law and implemented by the domestic legislation that applies in Northern Ireland.

Meat hygiene official controls (MOC) in NI these approved premises are carried out by the Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

FBOs are charged for these controls through our NI invoicing system.

FBOs are not charged for time spent on Specified Risk Material (SRM) controls or for time spent on activities that DAERA has policy responsibility for.


England and Wales
The grades of our staff are either an:

  • employed or contracted Official Veterinarian (OV) 
  • employed or contracted Meat Hygiene Inspector (MHI)

Northern Ireland
In Northern Ireland the grades are:

  • Senior MHI
  • Poultry MHI
  • Red meat MHI
  • OV


Discounts may be applied to some meat control charges for red meat slaughterhouses, poultry slaughterhouses, on farm slaughtering facilities and game handling establishments. Charges to cutting plants are not discounted. 


In September 2012, we asked the meat industry to work with us to develop a meat industry discount system which would: 

  • promote efficiency
  • support improving compliance (within a de-regulatory remit)
  • appropriately support small and medium enterprises (SMEs
  • provide more balanced and equitable discount arrangements 

Industry representatives from the production and processing sectors were invited to set up the Steering Group for Meat Charging ('Steering Group') under an independent Chair. 

For the first phase, the Steering Group consisted of fifteen representatives from across the production and processing sectors, the Chair and an FSA Board member. 

The group’s proposals were consulted on in 2015 and agreed by the government regulatory committees before implementation in April 2016.  

You can find the specific details of the developed discount system in the Steering Group on Meat Charging documents.

The second phase of the Steering Group’s work was the development of a sustainable funding model for meat official controls.

The Steering Group reported to our Board in March 2017 and it was agreed that this group and its work would be suspended until after EU Exit.

Charges guide

England and Wales

England and Wales

England and Wales

England and Wales

England and Wales

England and Wales

England and Wales

England and Wales

England and Wales

Northern Ireland

This guide is for FBOs of approved slaughterhouses, cutting plants and game handling establishments in Northern Ireland. It covers the same topics as the England and Wales version and additionally:

  • provides an overview on how to complete a Statement of Resources (SOR)
  • includes annexes with the applicable DAERA hourly charge-out rates, the applicable FSA discount rates and an explanation of DAERA overheads

Northern Ireland


National Archives charges guides before 2016-2017

Cost data

This information  provides the breakdown of costs in England and Wales and explains how charges to industry are calculated for each financial year.

The FSA’s meat related costs are shown in two categories: direct costs and indirect costs. They are also broken down by the costs of:

  • Meat Hygiene Inspectors (MHIs)
  • Official Veterinarians (OVs)

The total budgeted costs are divided by the budgeted number of hours worked to calculate the hourly charge-out rates for MHIs and OVs.

These charge-out rates are used to determine the monthly bill for each meat plant. The majority of plants have their bills discounted so they do not pay the full rate.

The cost data process is used to identify the proportion of FSA indirect costs that relate to meat controls and which are apportioned to the OV and MHI rates. The cost data process and the calculation of the charge rates is subject to an external audit. For 2024-25 this was carried out by Mazars which is an external accountancy, audit, tax and consultancy company.

England and Wales

England, Northern Ireland and Wales

England, Northern Ireland and Wales

National archives cost data before 2017-2018

Charges calculator

This calculator is for FBOs in England and Wales considering changes to their operating hours and/or practices. It can be used before meeting with our field managers to find out how the changes would affect the charges for meat controls.

The calculator has been divided into three sections to provide indicative estimates for:

  • red meat slaughterhouses and on farm slaughtering facilities
  • poultry slaughterhouses
  • game handling establishments

These tools can only be used to calculate estimates for the specific year stated.

England and Wales

England and Wales