Defra Sees the Future of Farm Animal Vets

UK - A poorly developed demand for veterinary services rather than a shortage of farm animal veterinarians has been identified by a personal report published today by Professor Philip Lowe.
calendar icon 6 August 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

The report was commissioned by Defra on behalf of a Government/Industry Steering Group which has been considering whether there is a shortage of farm animal veterinarians in Great Britain.

The report concluded that there was no such shortage nor a lack of interest in veterinary graduates pursuing a career in farm animal veterinary work. The report identified the potential for veterinarians to increase their role as providers of expert advice to the farming and food industries.

Responding to the report, Alick Simmons, Defra’s Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer and Chairman of the Steering Group, said, “I thank Professor Lowe for his work on this report. It provides important new insights into the role of the farm animal veterinarian and I encourage all interested parties to carefully consider the report’s conclusions and how these might be taken forward.”

The report recognises that in terms of the number of animals they look after and the public significance of their work, no group of veterinarians is more important than those involved in farming and food production.

A recurring theme in the report is the need to better align farm animal veterinary services to meet the changing needs of the livestock industries. Professor Lowe recommends the creation of a Veterinary Development Council as an appropriate forum for bring the suppliers and customers of farm animals veterinary services together.

Defra will now carefully consider Professor Lowe’s report and is due to meet with other Steering Group members in November.

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