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Veterinary Investigation Centres

Mr. Livsey: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the veterinary investigation centres which were closed between 1980 and 1997. [155602]

Ms Quin [holding answer 27 March 2001]: I refer the hon. Member to the letter from the Chief Executive of the Veterinary Laboratories Agency which lists the number of closures between 1980 and 1997.

Letter from Steve Edwards to Mr. Richard Livsey, dated 30 March 2001:




Centres were closed and new ones opened as follows:

CentreClosed/opened
1980--
Aberystwyth--
Bangor--
Barton Hall (Preston--moved from Liverpool)
Cambridge--
Cardiff--
Carmarthen--
Gloucester--
Langford (Bristol)--
Leeds--
Lincoln--
Moulton (Northampton)--
Newcastle--
Norwich--
Penrith--
Reading--
Shrewsbury--
Starcross (Exeter)--
Sutton Bonington (Loughborough)--
Thirsk--
Truro--
Weybridge--
Winchester--
Worcester--
Wye (Kent)--
Total24
1981
WeybridgeClosed
Total23
1982
Chester (Sub centre of Shrewsbury)Opened
Total24
1983-1985--
Total24
1986
CardiffClosed
ChesterClosed
GloucesterClosed
Leeds Closed
Moulton (Northampton)Closed
Total19
1987-1990--
Total19
1991
BangorClosed
LincolnClosed
Wye (Kent)Closed
Total16
1992--
Total16
1993
CambridgeClosed
NorwichClosed
WorcesterClosed
Bury St. EdmundsOpened
Luddington (Stratford-upon-Avon)Opened
Total15
1994
ReadingClosed
Total14
1995-2001
Aberystwyth--
Barton Hall (Preston)--
Bury St. Edmunds--
Camarthen--
Langford (Bristol)--
Luddington (Stratford-upon-Avon)--
Newcastle--
Penrith--
Shrewsbury--
Starcross (Exeter)--
Sutton Bonington (Loughborough)--
Thirsk--
Truro--
Winchester--
Total14

30 Mar 2001 : Column: 811W

Abattoir Closures

Mr. Paice: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what studies he has undertaken to assess the effects of closure of abattoirs on (a) direct farm sales and farmers' market sales, (b) the viability of independent butchers, (c) the viability of (i) small, (ii) medium and (iii) large livestock farms, (d) the animal welfare implications and the costs of transporting livestock extra distances to abattoirs and (e) the number of jobs lost through closure. [151821]

Ms Quin [holding answer 28 February 2001]: The Ministry has undertaken no studies to assess the above effects of abattoir closures.

As announced in the Rural White Paper published on 28 November, Agriculture Departments in England, Scotland and Wales have agreed to transfer £8.7 million to the Foods Standards Agency for the three financial years 2001-02 to 2003-04; this will enable the FSA to implement the principal recommendation of the Taskforce chaired by Colin Maclean, to revise the method of charging for Meat Hygiene Service inspections in abattoirs and cutting plants.

Vets

Mr. Livsey: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many vets were employed by his Department in (a) 1971, (b) 1975, (c) 1980, (d) 1985, (e) 1986, (f) 1987, (g) 1988, (h) 1989, (i) 1990, (j) 1992, (k) 1994, (l) 1996, (m) 1998, (n) 2000 and (o) 2001. [155623]

Ms Quin [holding answer 26 March 2001]: The number of veterinary surgeons (full-time equivalents) employed by the State Veterinary Service since 1979, the earliest date for which we have accurate figures, is given in the table. The hon. Member may wish to know that since 1980 the State Veterinary Service has changed several times. The Central Veterinary Laboratory (CVL), which previously formed part of the State Veterinary Service, became the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) in April 1990. The CVL figures are incorporated

30 Mar 2001 : Column: 812W

in this return for the years 1 January 1980 to 1 January 1990. From 1 June 1990 the figures do not include the CVL. The Veterinary Investigation Service became part of the VLA on 1 October 1995 and is not included in these figures from that date. In 2000, there were 99 veterinarians employed by VLA. Much of the information presented was previously given in the answer of 27 February 1997, Official Report, columns 323-24W.

Of the 285 full-time equivalent veterinarians employed by the State Veterinary Service in 2001 as a whole, 220 veterinarians are employed as field veterinary officers. The work of these officers is supplemented by about 100 Temporary Veterinary Inspectors (TVIs) from the private sector in normal times.

YearNumber of vets
1979597.5
1980580.5
1985527.5
1986506.5
1987464.5
1988444.5
1989422.0
1990430.5
1992414.5
1994408.3
1996301.2
1997289.5
2000284.0
2001286.0

Livestock Farms

Mr. Andrew George: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many livestock farms there were in the St. Ives constituency in (a) 1992, (b) 1997 and (c) 2001. [155740]

Ms Quin [holding answer 26 March 2001]: There were 815 main agricultural holdings in the St. Ives constituency with livestock (cattle, sheep, pigs or goats) in the June 2000 Agricultural and Horticultural census. Parliamentary constituency level data are not available for June 1992 or June 1997.

Pig Movements

Mr. Luff: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if healthy pigs can be moved to abattoirs for killing (a) under the Welfare Destruction Scheme and (b) for normal food purposes; and if he will make a statement. [155621]

Ms Quin [holding answer 26 March 2001]: Pigs and other livestock experiencing serious, insurmountable welfare problems due to foot and mouth disease control measures would be eligible for the Livestock Welfare (Disposal) Scheme (LWDS). Livestock entered into LWDS would normally be slaughtered in specially designated abattoirs but, where this is not possible they would be killed on-farm. Through the Slaughter Under Licence Scheme, around 80 per cent. of typical slaughter levels of pigs for normal food purposes are currently being achieved.

30 Mar 2001 : Column: 813W

Farm Incomes

Mr. Baker: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what the average income per farm for (a) the United Kingdom and (b) the region including the Lewes constituency in each year since 1979 was in current prices. [155600]

Ms Quin [holding answer 26 March 2001]: The information requested is given in the table. The Eastern region is the smallest regional level covering the Lewes constituency for which figures are available. However, the East covers a large area of England from Lincolnshire to Hampshire and therefore is not necessarily representative of farming in the Lewes constituency.

Average net farm income for all types of full-time farm businesses in the United Kingdom and the East (current prices)(3),(4)

£000/farm
UKEast
1979-806.79.4
1980-817.010.1
1981-8210.011.1
1982-8311.314.8
1983-8410.716.5
1984-8511.818.2
1985-866.75.4
1986-8710.013.5
1987-8810.45.9
1988-8912.07.9
1989-9015.118.7
1990-9113.719.0
1991-9214.820.2
1992-9319.623.5
1993-9420.725.5
1994-9523.733.5
1995-9631.946.8
1996-9724.636.6
1997-9810.716.3
1998-997.313.2
1999-20005.7n/a
2000-01(5)5.4n/a

n/a = Not available

(3) Estimates for the Eastern region before 1988-89 and for the United Kingdom throughout the period, exclude horticulture.

(4) There have been a number of methodological changes which mean that the data are not directly comparable over the full period. A significant change is the move from an 'as received' to an 'as due' basis for livestock subsidies effective from 1994-95.

(5) Forecast.

Source:

Figures for the UK are derived from information from the Farm Business Surveys supplied for 'Farm Incomes in the United Kingdom'. Figures for the Eastern region are published in 'Farm Accounts in England'



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