U.S. seeing shortage of livestock veterinarians

OHIO - Ohio's dwindling number of veterinarians who specialize in treating livestock say for them, a passion for farm life and the resourcefulness needed to treat their bulky patients is worth the trade-off of missing a regular schedule in an office
calendar icon 26 March 2007
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The state's only veterinary school is alarmed that the spirit seems to be disappearing among graduates.

Just six of 106 graduates last year who responded to a survey by the Ohio State University veterinary school said they would go into private practice to treat only or predominantly livestock grown for food, such as cattle and hogs.

"People wanting to go to vet schools nowadays grew up in a city," said Bimbo Welker, director of OSU's Large-Animal Services in Marysville. "Some are not really that keen on living in the country."

Problem Nationwide

The pattern is part of a nationwide shortage of large-animal vets that the industry last year said could threaten the nation's food safety. While demand is expected to increase amid concerns over foot-and-mouth and other diseases at large livestock operations, about 4 percent of openings are expected to go unfilled by 2016, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.

In the OSU survey, 11 percent said they'd treat large animals in mixed practices, and another 13 percent said they'd be horse specialists, while 46 percent wanted practices with all or mostly small pets. The respondents were among 134 graduates overall.

Source: Canton Rep
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