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HMRC internal manual

VAT Food

Items benefiting from the relief: live animals: hire of animals and related facilities

Bees

Honey bees are not themselves used as food, but they produce honey which is used as food for human consumption. The law zero-rates animals which yield food for human consumption.

The hire of honey bees for pollination purposes is zero-rated. However, if the bees are supplied in a hive, the hive will be standard-rated and an apportionment made between the cost of the bees and the hive.

The hire of bumble bees is standard-rated. Unlike the honey bees, bumble bees do not produce or yield food for human consumption.

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Supply of incubation services for eggs

The supply of incubation for eggs is a standard-rated as supply of services. It is not a supply of eggs.

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Hire of bulls for insemination purposes

The hire of bulls for insemination purposes is zero-rated; but the hire of any standard-rated animal is also standard-rated.