§ Dr. David Clark
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the activities that are carried out in his Department's(a) veterinary investigation centres and (b) farm and countryside service laboratories.
§ Mr. Gummer
The veterinary investigation centres provide laboratory and veterinary support to the field service of the state veterinary service in respect of my statutory animal and public health obligations and in the investigation of new and emerging diseases. They also provide diagnostic, advisory and consultancy services to the livestock industry through practising veterinary surgeons, liaise with medical and local authorities on the control of zoonotic disease and support approved research and development.
The farm and countryside service laboratories provide professional analytical chemistry, (covering crop husbandry, soil and animal nutrition), entomology, plant pathology, microbiology, and wildlife and storage biology services in respect of my statutory obligations, in support of research and development, and in the provision of advice on a direct commercial basis to the agricultural and related industries.