HC Deb 28 February 1966 vol 725 cc192-3W
Mr. Hooson

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what personnel are employed in his Department's dog-handling establishments; what is the total annual sum of their pay; and whether this sum was included in the figures for the annual cost of running dog-handling establishments which he has given.

Mr. Millan

The total number of personnel employed full time in Ministry of Defence dog-handling establishments is 2,497. Except for two members of the Admiralty Constabulary, who are employed as dog trainers, these personnel are at Army and Royal Air Force units, where they are specifically established to handle or look after dogs. The total annual cost of their pay and allowances, which was included in the figures I gave in reply to the hon. Member's Question on 18th February, is £1,970,000. The balance of £16,000 given in my Answer related to an assessment of the cost of the time spent by Admiralty Constabulary looking after dogs. The cost of maintaining all the dogs is additional to the figure given in my earlier Answer and is estimated at about £100 per dog per year on average, mainly for food.

Mr. Ridley

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he is satisfied with the cost effectiveness of the dog-handling establishments run by his Department; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Millan

Police dogs and handlers play a vital part in guarding Service establishments both at home and abroad. Each dog and his handler is as effective as five men in this work. The saving by using dogs is, therefore, very considerable.