Representatives of the two meat companies involved in the horse meat scandal made representations to the minister about restrictive practices by Vets in the factories about two weeks before the news broke.
Apparently, the vets refuse to work more than two hours at a time in the refrigerated environment, after which a colleague must take over his duties so there are two on duty at all times. But the vets have an informal arrangement amongst themselves to work one day on, one day off so clearly they can work for longer than two hours at a time.
it is interesting that the department should break this story so shortly after these representations were made. Very interesting indeed.