To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many veterinary surgeons have been employed by the State Veterinary Service in each year since 1997. 
[holding answer 12 June 2003]: The number of permanent veterinary surgeons (full time equivalent) employed by the State Veterinary Service at 1 January each year since 1997, is given in the table. The figures for 2002 and 2003 do not include Headquarters veterinary surgeons responsible for policy development in the Animal Health and Welfare Directorate General. In addition as at 1 January 2003 there were 58 casual and fixed term appointee veterinary staff.
|Year||Number of vets|