Call for review of veterinary services amid shortage concerns

Photo: Getty Images.
Photo: Getty Images.

The IFA has called on the Department of Agriculture to carry out a full review of veterinary services to address increasing concerns about the shortage of vets in many parts of the country.

The association has requested that the review include looking at the roles of both the Veterinary College and the Veterinary Council in vet training and job placements.

“We raised this in late 2017 with the Department because of the low number of vets that are interested in providing or maintaining a large-animal veterinary service that meets the needs of farmers,” IFA animal health chairman Pat Farrell said.

“This is an issue in many areas, and not just in peripheral regions.”

ICMSA Livestock Committee chair Des Morrison said “a distinction may be required between training of vets for agriculture and small-animal practice to ensure greater balance.

“The Government, along with the other stakeholders in the sector, has a responsibility in ensuring the availability and accessibility of veterinary services, as the availability of vets in certain parts of the country has become a growing concern for farmers.”

UCD was unable to provide statistics as to the percentage of students current studying veterinary at the university who come from a family engaged in practical farming, when asked.

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