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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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One-third of current vets on register qualified outside of Ireland

One-third of the VCI’s (Veterinary Council of Ireland) current register of veterinary practitioners qualified outside of Ireland.

That is according to a spokesperson for the council, who provided information to That’s Farming in response to the publication’s request for information.

The VCI collated statistics on the country of qualification for new entries to the Register of Veterinary Practitioners in Ireland over the last five years.

Its data shows that in the region of 75 vets from the National University of Ireland (UCD) generally join the register annually.

Meanwhile, the number of vets qualifying from other educational institutions and joining the VCI’s register make up the majority, averaging 128 vets over the last five years.

Vets in Ireland

New Practitioner Entries to the Register by Year


Vets on Register at year-end (Total) New Entries in year (Total) Total New Practitioners from the National University of Ireland  New Practitioners not from NUI (UK, Europe, Rest of World) (Total)
2021 3188 259 73 186
2020 3013 131 73 58
2019 2956 214 70 144
2018 2816 210 72 138
2017 2716 199 85 114


Studying veterinary medicine in Europe

In a statement to That’s Farming editor, Catherina Cunnane, a spokesperson for the VCI, said:

“There are veterinary medicine degree programmes delivered in English across a number of European countries.”

“There is also a European Mutual Recognition of Qualifications Directive which allows recognition of programmes of veterinary medicine from other European countries across the EU, including Ireland.”

“Equally, the Veterinary Council of Ireland (VCI) has in place some mutual recognition agreements with other regulatory and accrediting bodies, recognising their approved programmes of veterinary medicine for entry to the Register of Veterinary Practitioners here in Ireland.”

“Such an example includes the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in the UK, allowing UCD Veterinary Medicine graduates to register to practice in the UK based on our VCI accreditation.”

“Graduates from the UK’s Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons approved programmes of Veterinary Medicine can register to practise in Ireland,” the spokesperson concluded.

VCI registrations at an ‘all-time’ high

Earlier this month, the VCI reported that it has welcomed 189 new vets and 82 new veterinary nurses to its register to date in 2022.

According to the body, the total number of vets and veterinary nurses on its register currently stands at 3,281 and 1,189, respectively.

It says registrations are at “all-time high” in terms of the number of veterinary professionals working in Ireland.

Read more on this news story.

Career Focus: Vet

In our latest instalment of our veterinary career series, we spoke to Paul Crawford, a Royal Veterinary College graduate from Northern Ireland.

He is a sheep farmer and a self-employed veterinary anaesthetist who is passionate about eradicating sheep scab.

Read the interview.

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