The British Meat Processors Association has once again raised concerns over the increased number of vet inspections that will be required after the UK has officially left the EU.
After 31 December, every single consignment of meat or meat-based products, from steaks and sausages to beef curries and Hawaiian pizzas will need an Official Veterinarian to inspect it and sign an Export Health Certificate before it can leave the factory.
The problem, which the BPMA has said the Government has known about since the Brexit vote back in 2016, is that Britain doesn’t have enough vets to deal with the new demand, and less than 100 days out from the end of the Transition Period, there is still no sign of how this is going to be resolved.
Nick Allen, chief executive of The British Meat Processors Association said: “We have been pressing the Government for three years now to lay out the details of exactly how these barriers to trade will be dealt with. They have known since the beginning that we will need an army of extra qualified vets to cope with the 500% increase in workload.
“All the guidance in the world is useless if we are not able to complete required export paperwork because of a chronic shortage of vets. If this is not addressed, £175 million per month of meat exports will be at risk.
“The bottom line is that British companies cannot prepare effectively for Brexit because the UK Government is not keeping to its side of the bargain by putting in place the right measures and resources and failing to give us the answers we desperately need.”