To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when a full reply will be sent by his Department to the letters dated 26 November and 18 December from Cheriton Bishop parish council to his divisional veterinary officer at Exeter, and passed by him to his London headquarters.
The Ministry's regional veterinary officer did discuss the matters raised in this correspondence with the clerk of the parish council. However, I concede that an unacceptable delay has occurred in concluding this correspondence, because the papers were lost. This is an unusual occurrence for which I apologise. The omission had in fact been noticed when the parish council recently wrote to the Prime Minister, myself and others and a repy covering the points raised in all these letters will be sent shortly.