Veterinary Council of Ireland appointments announced

Appointments to the Veterinary Council of Ireland have been announced by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed.

This morning (Wednesday, February 7) the minister confirmed that four new members have been appointed.

The persons appointed are: Claire Millrine; Ailis ni Riain; John O’Brien; and Bert Stewart.

Welcoming the newly-appointed members, Minister Creed said: “An effective board depends on achieving the right mix of people and skills.

The varied range of skills and experience of these new appointees will benefit the Veterinary Council through robust discussion leading to strong decision making. I wish them every success during their term of office.

The four appointed members were selected under the arrangements involving an open advertisement and assessment system by the Public Appointments Service (PAS).

At the beginning of the year, there were 15 vacancies on the Veterinary Council of Ireland.

Four of these, as outlined above, have been filled by the PAS. The other 11 appointments consist of six on the foot of elections held by the council and one arising from nominations prescribed by selected organisations.

One further vacancy is for direct appointment by the minister.

Veterinary practice ownership

A decision by the Veterinary Council of Ireland to review rules relating to the ownership of veterinary practices – following queries received from stakeholders – has caused significant worry among practicing vets across the country.

Also Read: Veterinary Council confirms rule changes to ownership of practices

The council took legal advice and it is of the opinion that there is no prohibition on a non-registered person, non-registered persons or a body corporate owning a veterinary business, including a veterinary practice – providing the practice of veterinary medicine, as defined by section 53 of the Veterinary Practice 2005, as amended, is carried out at all times by a registered person.

It is thought that this development late in 2017 could open the door for multinationals to enter the Irish market and buy up veterinary practices, if they so wish.

This has led to concern regarding the potential effects this move could have regarding the services that would be offered to farmers.

Meanwhile, Veterinary Ireland claims that there was no consultation regarding the amendments to the Codes of Professional Conduct relating to the ownership of veterinary practices.

It is currently waiting on a response from the council relating to a number of issues it has raised regarding recent developments.