§ Mr. Redmond
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the present establishment of egg inspectors among(a) Ministry of Agriculture veterinarians, (b) Health and Safety Executive agriculture inspectors, (c) the general egg marketing inspectorate (Ministry of Agriculture), (d) environmental health officers and (e) trading standards officers; by what percentage each of these inspectorates are below establishment; what is the average frequency of inspections carried out by each individual inspectorate; and if he will make a statement as to the function of each inspectorate.
§ Mr. Donald Thompson
The only one of these groups with an establishment of egg inspectors is the Ministry's egg marketing inspectorate. This comprises 32 inspectors. It is currently 3 per cent. (one inspector) below complement. The average frequency of inspections is two and a half per day per inspector.
The function of the inspectorate is to enforce the EC's regulations on egg marketing and hatching eggs at all marketing stages up to but excluding retail level. It is also required to undertake visits to retailers at the request of trading standards officers who have responsibility for enforcing these regulations at retail level.