HC Deb 27 July 1979 vol 971 cc718-20W
Mr. Nicholas Baker

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food why courses to train veterinary surgeons in health marking of poultry under EEC regulations are not available until late in September; and what arrangements have been made to provide local authorities with the facilities offered by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in the House,Official Report, 2 November 1976; c. 1359.

Mr. Peter Walker

Nine such courses have already been held by the British Veterinary Association with Ministry help and over 200 veterinary surgeons in private practice are already qualified for appointment by local authorities under the Poultry Meat (Hygiene) Regulations. Courses planned for September and November will add to this number. Since 1976 a serious shortage of staff has developed in the State veterinary service. While the Ministry remains willing to lend veterinary staff if it can in places where there are no qualified veterinary surgeons available from the private sector, its ability to do this is strictly limited at present.