§ 55. Mr. Hopkin
asked the Minister of Agriculture how many attested herds there are in the county of Carmarthen up to date; how many herds are waiting to be tested; what is the cause of the delay in 629 testing; for what length of time was testing suspended; and is he satisfied that the number of veterinary staff is sufficient to cope with the farmers' demands for testing their herds?
§ Mr. Ramsbotham
There are 1,419 attested herds in the county of Carmarthen, 333 herds awaiting official test and 370 herds undergoing assisted tests. While in certain cases more than the minimum period of 60 days after the last assisted test carried out by the owner's veterinary surgeon may elapse before the official test is made, generally speaking there is no considerable delay nor has there been any suspension of this work. The veterinary staff in the county has recently been augmented, and my right hon. Friend is satisfied that, subject to the occasional necessity for diverting certain of the veterinary inspectors to other duties of exceptional urgency for short periods, the staff engaged in the testing of herds is sufficient. The position is, however, being kept under constant review.