133 new vets and 48 new veterinary nurses have joined the Veterinary Council of Ireland’s register so far in 2020.
The statutory body, which is responsible for the regulation and management of the practise of veterinary medicine and veterinary nursing in the state, believes this influx of talent will benefit animal health and welfare.
The total current number of vets and veterinary nurses on the Veterinary Council register is 2,938 and 1,019, respectively.
The council predicts that increasing numbers of Irish veterinary students qualifying in universities abroad, as well as increasing numbers of foreign vets registering to practise in Ireland, will help to meet the growing demand for large animal vets in rural areas.
Of the 133 newly registered vets, 50 were awarded their Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine degree from UCD.
25 vets were awarded their qualification from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Budapest, 11 were awarded their qualification from the University of Life Sciences in Warsaw, and 8 were awarded their qualifications from various universities throughout the United Kingdom.
The remaining vets received their qualifications from other universities abroad.
Of the newly registered veterinary nurses, 35 received their veterinary nursing qualification from UCD, 3 received their qualification from Letterkenny Institute of Technology, 3 from Athlone Institute of Technology, 2 from Saint John’s College Cork, with the remaining 5 receiving 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.
Niamh Muldoon, CEO and Registrar of the Veterinary Council of Ireland, said, “The high number of newly registered vets this year is a positive sign for the profession and shows growth in the veterinary industry.”
“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,” Muldoon concluded.