§ Mr. Harvey
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many(a) vets and (b) support staff there were in the veterinary service in (i) 1971, (ii) 1979, (iii) 1997 and (iv) 2001. 
§ Ms Quin
[holding answer 2 April 2001]: The number of veterinary surgeons employed by the State Veterinary Service in 1971 could be identified only at disproportionate cost. The other information sought (full-time equivalents) is as follows:
- 2001–2861.1The State Veterinary Service currently employs as permanent staff 286 veterinary surgeons of whom 220 are field veterinary officers.
The numbers of MAFF officials involved in support also could be identified only at disproportionate cost.