The specialist Poultry Unit forms part of the Agricultural Co-Ordination Branch. The Unit consists of 5 specialist staff, 2 of which are based in the Rural Payments and Inspections Directorate's (RPID) headquarters in Edinburgh, and an officer in the Perth, Hamilton and Inverurie offices.
Why do we inspect poultry?
Poultry is an important part of Scotland’s rural economy and food chain, so it’s important that we ensure high standards and practices are being followed.
Our inspections programme helps to protect consumers interests, such as food safety, prices, provenance and maintain standards of welfare for laying hens.
Our inspectors check:
- poultry welfare
- egg marketing
- free range meat marketing
- salmonella testing
- hygiene standards
Most checks are to comply with European rules but some of our inspections are carried out on behalf of the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) and Food Standards Agency (FSA).
We also work in partnership with local authorities when certain issues arise, such as consumer complaints or labelling details.
What do we look for?
Poultry inspections are generally unannounced and our inspectors will make sure eggs are Class A standard.
Class A is the standard retailers require for human consumption.
We can inspect any part of a business that is involved in the production chain. This includes hatcheries, rearing units, production sites, packing centres and wholesale and distribution centres.
During an inspection we can take egg samples to test for the residue of medicines, check egg quality, labelling and records, and conduct ultra violet and weight sampling.
Where can you find out more?
The regulations which inform our inspections can be found below:
Visit the Rural Payments and Services website for more information on Scotland's egg and poulty sector.