On 20 March he applied for a temporary derogation to allow him to continue operating after 1 January 1993 while work upgrading his premises was taking place. In that application he said that he anticipated completing the work by the end of 1993. In August 1992 he closed the abattoir temporarily to concentrate on planning issues. On 23 November he applied for a licence to increase his annual slaughtering total from 1,786 to 11,219 livestock units per annum.
According to Mr N, around valuers Perth that time he learned that it was no longer going to be necessary for abattoirs to have full-time veterinary supervision. that meant that smaller abattoirs which he had anticipated would close because of the cost of full-time veterinary supervision would be encouraged to stay open and his plans in turn would have to be revised. On 25 May 1993 solicitors acting for Mr N wrote to MAFF claiming compensation for expenditure on upgrading his abattoir which he considered had been wasted.
They said that MAFF had encouraged Mr N to upgrade the abattoir and he had engaged professionals to assist him in preparing designs and obtaining planning and building regulation approval. On 24 June the claim was rejected on the grounds that Mr N had made a commercial judgment regarding his expansion plans and MAFF could not be held responsible for any loss. Circular FSH 1/92, albeit made at the behest and in the best interests of the industry, in that it had not stipulated official veterinary. surgeon presence during the post-mortem examination and had unequivocally stated that for many abattoirs full-time official veterinary surgeon supervision would not be required.
That had understandably come as something of a shock to Mr N, who until then had reasonably believed that a permanent official veterinary surgeon presence during. slaughtering would be required and had planned the expansion of his abattoir so as to meet the increased cost of such supervision. However, my predecessor found that Mr N had been given the best advice available at the time on the implications of the 1991 Directive. it had been a matter of bad luck, not maladministration, that MAFFs very late change in policy interpretation had affected Mr Ns plans.