The Veterinary Council of Ireland (VCI) has registered 271 veterinary professionals to date, in 2022.

The breakdown of recently registered veterinary professionals comprises 189 vets and 82 nurses, according to the council.

The VCI is the statutory body responsible for the regulation and management of veterinary medicine and veterinary-nursing practice.

The total number of vets and veterinary nurses on the VCI register currently stands at 3,281 and 1,189, respectively, which is an all-time high in terms of the number of veterinary professionals working in Ireland, according to the VCI.

These registrant numbers are welcomed in the context of increased demand for veterinary services and ongoing recruitment challenges in these rapidly growing and developing professions, the VCI said.

It added that the new additions will “benefit animal health and welfare in Ireland”.

Of the 189 newly registered vets, 54 were awarded their Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine Degree from University College Dublin (UCD).

The remaining vets graduated from a number of schools of veterinary medicine abroad.

Budapest University of Veterinary Science accounted for 35 newly registered vets, and Warsaw University of Life Sciences accounted for 12 vets.

Of the newly registered veterinary nurses, 33 received their qualification from UCD; 18 received their qualification from Athlone Institute of Technology; seven received their qualification from Dundalk Institute of Technology; and 17 received their qualification from St. John’s Central Cork; with the remaining 14 receiving their qualifications from Letterkenny Institute of Technology.

The county with the most registrants is Co. Dublin with 700 – 456 vets and 244 nurses; in second place is Co. Cork with 509 registrants – 356 vets and 153 vet nurses; and in third place is Co. Tipperary with 284 – 233 vets and 51 nurses.

CEO and registrar of the VCI, Niamh Muldoon said:

“The Veterinary Council of Ireland is proud to welcome all of the vets and vet nurses who joined our register in 2022. This influx of talent will help to meet the demand for veterinary services across Ireland, and also indicates the strength, growth and demand of the sector.

“The council will continue to work with all of our registrants and our stakeholders in the interest of the public and animal health and welfare.”

Vets from throughout Europe are eligible to register with the VCI through the professional qualifications directive, which facilitates the free movement of veterinary practitioners within the EU through the mutual recognition of professional qualifications.