This week's outbreak of foot and mouth disease was uncovered by staff of the Meat Hygiene Service (MHS), an Executive Agency of the Food Standards Agency (FSA). Every abattoir in Great Britain operates under the supervision of veterinarians and meat inspectors of the MHS, based in each plant. One of their key roles is to ensure that no unfit animal enters the abattoir. Before slaughter they check the animal's general welfare and cleanliness, and ensure that they are not obviously lame or suffering from any disease. If, upon inspection, a suspected notifiable disease is identified, the Divisional Veterinary Manager of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) is contacted and appropriate action is taken.