Corporate governance of vets back under Oireachtas microscope

The Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine will meet with the Veterinary Council of Ireland (VCI) to further discuss corporate governance of veterinary practices tomorrow, Tuesday, September 24, it has been confirmed.

The meeting is scheduled to take place in Committee Room 1 of Leinster House from 3:30pm and is a follow-up to the discussion the committee had with representatives of the VCI on the matter in May.

Members will be briefed by representatives of the VCI on the Grant Thornton Report ‘Analysis of the VCI Consultation on Corporate Ownership of Veterinary Practices’.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, committee chairman Pat Deering said:

“We look forward to this discussion with the VCI following our earlier engagement in May.

Members are particularly interested in the hearing the analysis of the information gathered by the VCI during its review of the corporate ownership of veterinary practices.

The meeting follows on from the first discussion on the matter, ahead of which deputy Deering noted: “Vets have raised concerns about the possible ramifications of practices being acquired by non-vets and its impact on small practices as well as on competition.”

The matter sparked a lively debate among committee members including deputy Willie Penrose, who at the time said he was “flummoxed” by the VCI’s decision to change its interpretation of the Veterinary Act last year.