New graduates predicted to meet vet demands in rural areas

It is predicted that the demands for large animal vets in rural areas will be met by graduates, as the Veterinary Council of Ireland has welcomed 133 new vets to register so far in 2020.

Combined with the increasing numbers of Irish veterinary students qualifying in universities abroad and the increasing number of foreign vets registering to practise in Ireland, the council believes this “influx of talent” will “benefit animal health and welfare”.

The statutory body has also welcomed 48 veterinary nurses to its register so far this year.

Help to meet the growing demand

These new registrants bring the total current number of vets on the veterinary council to 2,938 and veterinary nurses to 1,019.

It is predicted that this increase in numbers will “help to meet the growing demand for large animal vets in rural areas”.

“The high number of newly registered vets this year is a positive sign for the profession and shows growth in the veterinary industry,” Niamh Muldoon, CEO and registrar of the Veterinary Council of Ireland, said.

It is the council’s hope that the influx of new vets will help to meet the demands and recruitment challenges experienced by some under-serviced rural areas, particularly relevant to large animal practices.

In order to address the issue of vet shortages, the veterinary council is analysing data and “plans to conduct further research to inform possible solutions to this issue”.

Of the 133 newly registered vets: 50 graduated from University College Dublin (UCD); 25 vets graduated from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Budapest; 11 qualified through the University of Life Sciences in Warsaw; and eight graduated from various universities throughout the UK.

The remaining vets qualified from other universities abroad.

Of the newly registered veterinary nurses, 35 received their qualification from UCD, three received their qualification from Letterkenny Institute of Technology, three from Athlone Institute of Technology and two from Saint John’s Central College in Cork.

The remaining five received their qualifications overseas.

Vets from throughout Europe are eligible to register with the Veterinary Council of Ireland through the Professional Qualifications Directive, which facilitates the free-movement of veterinary practitioners within the EU through the mutual recognition of professional qualifications.