R (Stillmans (Somerset) Ltd and Penny & Sons) v Food Standards Agency  EWHC 703 (Admin)
The High Court (Foster J) upheld two decisions of Food Standards Agency (FSA) to withdraw its Official Veterinarians (OVs) from the two Claimants’ slaughterhouses following a series of threats and bullying behaviour by the Claimants’ employees. It held that EU law places slaughterhouses under a duty to provide OVs with ‘safe access’ to their premises, the FSA’s decision was within its policy on the safety of its staff, and that withdrawing the OVs was a proportionate response to the harassment and violence they faced, outweighing the commercial consequences of the withdrawal – inability to market their products for human consumption – for the slaughterhouses.
Adam Heppinstall appeared for the FSA. He provides advice and representation on all areas of public and regulatory law.