HC Deb 17 February 1983 vol 37 cc460-1
13. Mr. Torney

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, in view of the shortfall of manpower in the state veterinary service, if he is satisfied that resources are sufficient to implement the disease control programme for Aujeszky's disease.

Mrs. Fenner

As my right hon. Friend made clear in his speech on Second Reading of the Pig Industry Levy Bill, the Government intend to support the eradication policy fully through the veterinary service. I am satisfied that we can give this the priority that it deserves, subject always to unexpected demands made by an outbreak of another major disease.

Mr. Torney

How will the Minister ensure that farm animal welfare in general—[HON. MEMBERS: "Reading".]—and the revised codes for cattle, and especially pigs, will be implemented without the establishment of separate veterinary services independent of the services already in existence for disease and investigation?

Mrs. Fenner

I am aware of the view that this matter should be the subject of separate veterinary activity. I am satisfied that the state veterinary service has at all times the welfare of animals as part of its brief, but I remind the hon. Gentleman that the Farm Animal Welfare Council is currently studying whether any of the codes that have been presented in the House should be made mandatory.