§ Mr. Latham
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will make a statement on his review of the future of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, Melton Mowbray.
§ Mr. Archie Hamilton
On 11 July last year at columns495-96, my hon. Friend the Member for Romford (Mr. Neubert) announced that he was minded to accept the recommendation that a service animal centre should be formed. I am now able to confirm the intention to form such a centre, under unified command. For the foreseeable future, however, this will operate at the existing separate locations of RAVC Melton Mowbray, RAF Newton and RAF Syerston, because reduced estimates of disposal value have affected the recommendation to vacate and sell all the land at Melton Mowbray.
The service animal centre will be a candidate for defence support agency status, but the centre will in any case be expected to build on the savings in running costs referred to by my hon. Friend in his earlier answer.