§ Mr. Marlow
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many animal health officers are paid for by his Department; what is their cost; and what was the equivalent figure in 1990. 
§ Mrs. Browning
At 1 January 1996, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food employed 137.1 animal health officers and 29 senior animal health officers. Based on 1995–96 standard salary costs, this amounted to a total cost of £3,463,002 per annum.
At 1 January 1990, there were 135.5 animal health officers and 46 senior animal health officers. Applying Treasury GDP deflator dated November 1993 to the 1995–96 standard salary costs, this amounts to a total cost of £3,052,032 per annum.