How YOU can help attract more vets to the pig industry

UK - Difficulties in locating staff and in finding relief help for those times of the year when holidays place further pressures on unit operation is a problem shared by most producers. Resolving this demands a constant series of planning.
calendar icon 18 May 2006
clock icon 3 minute read

National Pig Association

NPA is active on members' behalf in Brussels & Whitehall, and with processors, supermarkets & caterers - fighting for the growth and pros-perity of the UK pig industry.

The pig sector also regularly reflects on the fact that many of those in training to become veterinarians show limited interest in farm animals and envisage their careers being conducted in the more lucrative `small animals’ sector.

It is surprising that pig producers are missing a really valuable opportunity to positively influence both these issues. As part of their training veterinary students have to spend at least three weeks gaining experience of working with all the major species of farm livestock and now, one of the leading veterinary training establishments has highlighted serious difficulties in locating pig producers willing to provide opportunity for trainee vets to work for a short period on their farms.

Those who have welcomed vet students in the past will be amazed that this is the case because almost everyone who has had a trainee veterinarian work alongside their staff is extremely positive about that experience. These people want and need to learn so they are willing to take part in any activities required and, being intelligent, quickly pick-up unit routines so that they contribute to the operation of the enterprise.

Not only that but there is the chance, to which some producers can testify, that they become so interested in pigs that they change their career aims to specialise in pigs – which would not have occurred if they had not been afforded the opportunity to sample pig unit activities.

For those who have not previously provided such opportunity they might just contemplate how useful it might be to have a bright, enthusiastic young person available to deputise for three weeks or so when staff are on leave, (they work during university holidays which coincide with school holidays when staff like to take their breaks), or assist in placing some additional emphasis on unit `problem areas’ that might benefit from additional time inputs.

Those who have never considered this source of `relief staff’ are advised to contact one of the veterinary schools now and, incidentally, payment is not expected – now, does that sound like a good deal or not?

Source: Gerry Brent, Pork Chain Solutions - 18th May 2006

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