Corporate ownership of veterinary practices and the continued debate on the future of the beef sector in the context of Food Wise 2025 will take precedence during the next meeting of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Scheduled to take place today, Tuesday, May 21, the meeting will also see the scrutiny of EU Legislative Proposals.

The meeting will first focus on the regulation of the practise of veterinary medicine, particularly the ownership of veterinary practices.

Representatives from Veterinary Council of Ireland (VCI) have been invited to speak before the committee on the matter, following on from previous discussions earlier this year.

Following this, the committee’s ongoing study of “The Future of the Beef Sector in the context of Food Wise 2025” will resume; representatives from Bord Bia will address Oireachtas members on the matter.

Speaking in advance of the meeting, committee chair Pat Deering said: “In the first part of the meeting, we will focus on the issue of corporate ownership of veterinary practices.

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.

“Following this, representatives from Bord Bia will brief the committee on the recent performance of the Irish beef and livestock sector, and some of the issues being experienced as a result of difficult market conditions,” deputy Deering noted.