§ Mr. Jopling
The recorded expenditure for the veterinary laboratory at Lasswade in the last financial year was £1,425,000 of which £193,000 represented expenditure on research and development projects as such.
§ Dame Judith Hart
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the proposed closure of the central veterinary laboratory at Lasswade.
§ Mr. Jopling
Research and development spending by the Agricultural Development and Advisory Service will be reduced by some £4 million in 1986–87. This is in line with earlier decisions to reduce Government expenditure on agricultural research and development.
This will be achieved by rationalising the organisation of ADAS's R & D and concentrating work on fewer sites. 413W This approach is intended to maintain ADAS's capability to respond to advice on the longer term priorities for R & D which the Priorities Board for Research and Development in Agriculture and Food is considering and to respond to the needs of industry as expressed through the financial contributions which the Government consider the industry should make towards the cost of R & D from which it benefits. This approach has been endorsed by the priorities board.
As part of these economies, the department of the central veterinary laboratory located at Lasswade will close from 1 April 1986. The arrangements for maintaining the essential services needed in the areas concerned will be announced later. Until these announcements have been made it will not be possible to provide figures on the overall financial savings resulting from closure, nor will it be possible to assess the number of redundancies likely to be needed.