§ Mr. McLeish
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what was the total number of staff in the state veterinary service in each year since 1989–90; and what is the planned number of staff for each year from 1996–97 to 1998–99. 
§ Mrs. Browning
[holding answer 2 April 1996]: The total number of staff in the state veterinary service in each year since 1989–90 was as detailed in the following table, which shows the number of staff in post, to the nearest full-time equivalent, at 1 April each year. The figures include staff of all grades and include staff at the veterinary investigation centres, but exclude the central veterinary laboratory.
Year Number of staff 1989–90 791 1990–91 858 1991–92 936 1992–93 11,114 1993–94 1,360 1994–95 1,383 1995–96 1,376 1 The State Veterinary Service took over responsibility for administrative staff in animal health offices in England from 1 April 1992. These were not all recorded at 1 April 92, but are fully reflected in the 1993 figure.
On 1 October 1995, the veterinary investigation service combined with the central veterinary laboratory to form to the Veterinary Laboratories Agency and 358 posts were transferred to that agency. On 1 April 1996, 31 administrative staff were transferred to the SVS from the Welsh Office. The planned number of staff for 1996–97 is 905. Plans for 1997–98 and 1998–99 have not yet been finalised.