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HomeBeefVet school for specific animal purpose ‘a non-runner’
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
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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Vet school for specific animal purpose ‘a non-runner’

“We need to be clear that any accredited veterinary school has to produce a general practitioner, so there is a difficulty in designing a school to produce a specific outcome,” Jimmy Quinn, MVB MSc, MRCVS, has outlined.

The founder and director of the Working Group for Reform in Irish Veterinary Education made the remark at the recent sitting of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine on Wednesday, May 24th, 2023.

Vet school

He highlighted the importance of having a multi-competent graduate across all the species and added that “fortunately or unfortunately”, a school designed for a specific animal purpose is “not a runner”.

“It will not get passed the accreditation bodies, be that the VCI (Veterinary Council of Ireland), RCVS (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons) or EAEVE (European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education).

“You are allowed to develop specialisations post-qualification, but not ahead of qualification.”

“In my own case, I specialise in embryo work in pedigree cattle, but as an undergraduate, I had to qualify to be capable of working across cats, dogs, horses, pigs, sheep and cattle, for example, and that has not changed,” added Quinn, who is the managing director of Genexcel Ireland LTD.

The firm, with more than two decades of experience in the field, provides advanced reproductive services, advice and training to cattle breeders.

Its services include AI equipment sales, DIY and technician AI training, reproductive ultrasound training, breeding advice and embryo transfer services.

Quinn told the meeting that there is an issue arising in Ireland currently whereby particularly practice owners and employers are finding “graduates that will not work in certain areas, for example, cattle or equine work or out-of-hour calls in large animals,” and this is, placing strain on practices.

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