Public Accounts Report

Appendix 1

Bryn writes:

Seems to me confusion still exists as to how many vets were employed in the SVS in the vital year 2001

Question 261: Protecting the export trade was often used as a justification for the policy, so any statements or notes, documents, which justify that, anything which justifies the statements that it was done to protect the export trade?
DEFRA answer :  Waffle and NO mention of monetary involvement to prove the justification .
Question 264: Mr David Rendel would like to know whether we could have a note on how many vets have been employed in the Government Veterinary Service each year since 1990?
DEFRA answer :
138.  The Table below shows the total number of veterinarians employed in the State Veterinary Service (SVS) on a full-time equivalent basis since 1990. The management structure of the SVS has changed considerably in that time, so these figures should not be used to compare veterinary manpower over the years.
Seemed a fairly simple question to me, but with DEFRA's usual inability to see the wood for the tress we get this answer.
2000 284.0
2001 286.0
2002 336.8*

  *The figures for 2002 are as at 1 April.

I am terribly sorry for the poor vet in 2002 rated at 0.8 - a bit of persona has been culled .

Lord Whitty was asked a similar question relating to vet numbers in 2001; he thought we had 220 "front-line vets".  On the 6th May 2002,  Lord Whitty and his cohort Mr E. Morley sent a "Formal Response" letter to the European Parliament trying to answer 18 questions the Temporary Committee had posed them. Whitty told the Committee in his letter that there were 220 vets, "who are the front line staff which are employed to deal with disease outbreaks".   He went on to mention, "In February 2001 there were 220 such Officers. These figures are just field Officers". 

The RCVS in their 2001 Annual Report (page 25) list 291 under a Government heading called, "Veterinary Field Service". The UK had 19,638 vets registered according to the RCVS Annual Report (up to the 31 Mar 2001).

Mr Morley told Parliament on the 17th December 2001, “…...the number of vets that work for the State Veterinary Service (full-time equivalents, as at January 2001) is 286?  

National Audit Office Report concerning the 2001 FMD outbreak stated at para,”3.35 On the eve of the outbreak, there were 213 veterinary officers in the State Veterinary Service”.  

DEFRA wrote a report to the OIE, dated the 14th January 2002 regarding the FMD crisis and in that Report DEFRA said, At the time the FMD epidemic started, the SVS employed 304 whole time veterinary staff,

Seems to me confusion still exists as to how many vets were employed in the SVS in the vital year 2001.