Public Law

Well not quite yet. The Scottish Government recently announced a consultation on the quite wonderfully named Eggs and Chicks (Scotland) Regulations 2010. DEFRA introduced new regulations  in England last year (no doubt with the aid of a cardboard box and a heat lamp) and the Scottish Ministers plan to introduce parallel measures before the end of 2010.

The Regulations will provide enforcement powers to ensure the operators of laying flocks comply with EC marketing obligations. The marketing obligations relate to eggs which have been restricted because of isolation of salmonella but which can be used for human consumption following heat treatment. If that’s put you off your breakfast then worry not, the eggs are passed through a pasteurisation process first and have to be marked as Class B. The requirement to market eggs as Class B will not apply to private domestic use or egg production in small quantities leading to direct supply to the final consumer. A small quantity is less than 350 hens, which leads me to wonder just how many eggs that is…

The Egg Marketing Inspectorate will be responsible for enforcing the new controls on farms and in the ominous sounding breaking plants. Local authorities will be responsible for enforcement in retail and catering premises. A serious point for those in the farming and veterinary industries (or those who deal in large quantities of eggs) is that a person guilty of an offence under the new regulations could be liable for a criminal conviction and a fine of up to £5,000.

The consultation will close on 2 December but we may have to wait until spring to see the full scope of the new controls.

Niall McLean

Associate at Brodies LLP
Niall is a member of Brodies' market leading Government, Regulation and Competition practice. Niall gives both public and private sector clients advice in a broad range of areas including: corporate crime and investigations, governance, defamation and reputation management, public law and statutory interpretation.
Niall McLean