§ Mr. Steel
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if he has made a study of the effects of the proposed closure of the veterinary laboratory at Lasswade on agriculture in the south of Scotland;
(2) what representations he has received about the proposed closure of the veterinary laboratory at Lasswade.
§ Mr. Younger
In announcing his decision to close the veterinary laboratory at Lasswade, my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, whose Department is responsible for the services currently provided by the laboratory, has made it clear that essential diagnostic services needed in Scotland will continue to be 537W provided for the benefit of Scottish agriculture. The most appropriate means of doing so are under active consideration.
I have received a number of representations about the proposed closure from parliamentary colleagues, representatives of the farming and poultry industries and members of the veterinary profession.