HC Deb 07 March 1990 vol 168 cc712-5W
Dr. David Clark

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the locations of his food science laboratories, and give the number of people employed in each laboratory in each of the last 10 years.

Mr. Maclean

During the past 10 years the food science laboratory has occupied premises at Romney street, London, and two locations in Norwich (Colney lane and Queen street); these have been operated as a single scientific laboratory and information about staff numbers on each site is not available in the form requested.

The total number of staff employed in each year is given in the table and excludes administration support staff:

Year Numbers Employed at1 Food Science Laboratory
1980–81 45
1981–82 48
1982–83 46
1983–84 52
1984–85 49
1985–86 49
1986–87 48
1987–88 50
1988–89 55
1989–90 59
1excludes administrative staff.

Dr. David Clark

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the number of(a) veterinary laboratories, (b) ADAS farm, countryside science laboratories, excluding facilities for milk testing etc., (c) ADAS research and development science laboratories, (d) fisheries laboratories and (e) food science laboratories, which are currently operating; what are his estimates for the number operating in 1990 and 1991 in each case; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Maclean

On present assumptions, the number of laboratory sites will be as follows at the end of the current financial year and of 1990–91 and 1991–92 respectively:

Financial year ending 31 March
1990 1991 1992
(a) Veterinary Laboratories (including the Central Veterinary Laboratory, outstations and Veterinary Investigation Centres) 22 21 21

On 1 August 1990 the cattle-breeding centre at Shinfield will be closed as already announced. From 1 April 1990 the central veterinary laboratory, including its outstation at Lasswade, will become an executive agency. A review of the structure of the veterinary investigation service to look for ways of improving the quality, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the services was announced on 19 October 1989. I have yet to consider the report.

SVS BSE CVL BSE SVS Zoonoses CVL Zoonoses
1 April 1988 to 30 September 1988 6,746 3,747 15,318 8,229
1 October 1988 to 31 March 1989 18,292 6,405 28,207 9,254
1 April 1989 to 30 September 1989 34,575 9,893 37,186 9,266
1 October 1989 to 1 February 1990 (4 months) 28,287 7,877 32,479 8,998


1. The zoones figures do not include sampling of imported proteins.

2. The figures do not include work carried out in VI centres on a chargeable basis for bacteriological monitoring of salmonella in poultry, or a diagnosis of diasease caused by these other organisms on material submitted by veterinary surgeons.

3. Separate figures for salmonella, listeria and campylobacter are not available.

Dr. David Clark

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the numbers employed in the central veterinary laboratory, giving a separate figure for the number of scientists, for each year since 1979, and including the current figure.

Mr. Maclean

The information is as follows:

Permanent Staff in Post in the CVL Scientific Staff
1990 503 272
1989 536 285
1988 534 287

1990 1991 1992
(b) ADAS—Farm and Countryside Service (excluding minor facilities for milk testing, testing etc) 9 7 7
As announced on 21 March 1989 regional laboratories are being rationalised in order to improve cost-effectiveness.
(c) ADAS—Research and Development Services 6 6 6
The six individual laboratory sites are managed as a single central science laboratory pending collocation expected in 1993.
(d) Fisheries Laboratories 6 6 6
Of the above, five sites form the directorate of fisheries research, while the sixth is Torry research station, Aberdeen.
(e) Food Science Laboratories 1 1 1

The food science laboratory, formerly on three sites, was collocated at one site in Norwich from 5 February 1990.

I am satisfied that the restructuring and collocation of the Ministry's laboratories already carried out or in prospect has maintained and will maintain the necessary facilities for R and D and analytical work in support of policy objectives.

Dr. David Clark

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the number of man hours of people employed in(a) the central veterinary laboratory and (b) the state veterinary service on (i) bovine spongiform encephalopathy, (ii) salmonella, (iii) listeria and (iv) campylobacter on 1 October 1988, 1 April 1989, 1 October 1989 and 1 March 1990.

Mr. Maclean

The number of hours of the people employed by the SVS (including the VIS) and the CVL, (scientific staff) on BSE and zoonoses for the periods stated are as follows:

Permanent Staff in Post in the CVL Scientific Staff
1987 535 291
1986 568 307
1985 585 313
1984 584 306
1983 592 306
1982 620 311
1981 647 327
1980 667 327
1979 659 321


Taken from January figures for each year in respect of the central veterinary laboratory at Weybridge; the separate laboratories of the Reading cattle breeding centre and Lasswade (Scotland) are excluded.

Dr. David Clark

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement about the roles of and the current relationship between the state veterinary service and the central veterinary laboratory; and how he expects this to change in the future.

Mr. Maclean

The objectives of the state veterinary service are published in "Animal Health 1988, The Report of the Chief Veterinary Officer" (page 2). The central veterinary laboratory is currently part of the state veterinary service and contributes to meeting these objectives by providing specialised diagnostic, research, advisory services and products.

On 2 April the central veterinary laboratory will become an executive agency within MAFF. It will continue to deliver those services required by the state veterinary service in pursuit of its objectives on a more formalised contractual basis.

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