Veterinary Services: Northern Ireland

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 1st October 2020.

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Photo of Louise Haigh Louise Haigh Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the number of veterinary officials that will be required at border inspection posts in Northern Ireland for trade from Great Britain; and how many of those veterinary officials have been recruited to date.

Photo of Louise Haigh Louise Haigh Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions his Department has had with the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs on the allocation of additional resources to recruit veterinary and other technical staff to manage the new requirements under the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Decisions on the requirement for and recruitment of veterinary and other technical staff within Northern Ireland, including at points of entry from Great Britain, are for the Northern Ireland Executive. Defra continues to work closely with the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs on this and other aspects of implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol. We are also taking steps to increase official certifier capacity in Great Britain in line with the requirements of the Northern Ireland Protocol. In addition to funding provided last year, we recently launched a £200,000 scheme to provide training for Official Veterinarians and £100,000 for Certification Support Officers.

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