§ Mr. John E. B. Hill
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether there is any shortage of veterinary surgeons on his Department's establishment; and how far he is satisfied that the workload on present numbers will not hinder progress in the campaign 475W against brucellosis, either nationally or in the Eastern Region.
§ Mr. Godber
I am anxious that the present strength of the State Veterinary Service should be increased as soon as possible and my Department is considering how best this can be done.
The availability of official veterinary manpower is bound to be one of the factors determining the pace of brucellosis eradication, but my hon. Friend will recall that I announced plans for the extension of compulsory eradication measures over the whole of the Eastern Region in the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Harborough (Mr. Farr) on 22nd May.—[Vol. 857, c. 58–9.]
§ Mr. Ralph Howell
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is satisfied that there will be no further postponement of the brucellosis eradication scheme due to a shortage of trained veterinary surgeons.
§ Mrs. Fenner
The current programme for compulsory eradication of brucellosis in England and Wales takes account of the present strength of the State Veterinary Service, and of the other duties it is required to perform. When my right hon. Friend announced this programme on 22nd May in reply to a Question by my hon. Friend the Member for Harborough (Mr. Farr)—[Vol. 857, c.58–9.]—he made it clear, however, that the progress of brucellosis eradication must continue to be subject to any demands on staff caused by outbreaks of epidemic or exotic disease, the fight against which must always be given priority.