Farm vet crisis as young graduates opt out of large animal practices
110 veterinary posts vacant in the west and dairy strongholds as graduates opt out of large animal practices
A crisis is emerging in animal health services, veterinary experts have warned.
There are currently 110 unfilled posts for vets in large animal practices and while western counties are hardest hit, dairy strongholds in Cork and Waterford are also feeling the impact.
"About 110 vacancies are currently advertised and that's bearing in mind that some people aren't even bothered advertising because they've tried it before and they've got no reply," said Veterinary Ireland spokesman Conor Geraghty (pictured).
"The graduates we have now are not that interested in large animal practice in Ireland because the practices tend to be small with just three or four vets.
"If you are a young graduate and you're in a three-vet practice that means you have to work two nights a week and every third weekend and maybe up to a half day on Saturday. You're nearly working an extra week a month."
Smaller animal practices have also become more attractive than traditional practices, said Mr Geraghty.
"We've never had more graduates, but they are migrating to small animal jobs and they are looking at jobs in industry and the Department [of Agriculture]."
He said large British practices, which typically have 15 or more vets, are also luring new young vets.