MEAT supplies could be hit after hygiene inspectors and vets voted to go on strike in a long-running row over pay, a union warned.

Unison, which represents around 500 employees in the row, said its members, employed by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in Scotland, England and Wales, voted by 63 per cent in favour of action in protest at an imposed pay rise of 0.75 per cent.

Dave Prentis, general secretary of Unison, said: "Meat inspectors and vets are a vital link in the food safety chain, protecting the public."

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A Food Standards Agency spokesman said: "Should Unison decide to take strike action, our contingency plans will minimise any disruption to meat supplies."