Farmers finding it hard to get vets in some areas may benefit from growth in the veterinary profession, which is reflected in the Veterinary Council of Ireland recording 229 new vets and 107 new veterinary nurses on its register in 2020.
The number of new vets and veterinary nurses is the highest ever recorded in a single year.
The Veterinary Council says this influx of additional talent will benefit animal health and welfare in Ireland.
The total number of vets and veterinary nurses on the Veterinary Council register currently stands at 3,045 and 1,087 respectively, an all-time high number of veterinary professionals working in Ireland.
Of the 229 newly registered vets, 100 were awarded their Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine Degree from UCD.
The remaining vets graduated from a number of schools of veterinary medicine abroad, with the most popular being the University of Medicine in Budapest (which accounted for 31 newly registered vets) and the Warsaw University of Life Sciences in Poland (which accounted for 12 vets).
Of the newly registered veterinary nurses, 40 received their veterinary nursing qualification from UCD.
Twenty received their veterinary nursing qualification from Athlone Institute of Technology, 14 received their veterinary nursing qualification from Dundalk Institute of Technology.
Ten received their qualification from St John’s Central Cork, with the remaining nine receiving their qualifications from Letterkenny Institute of Technology.
The three counties which are home to the largest numbers of registrants are Cork with 471 (332 vets and 139 nurses); Dublin, with 409 registrants (254 vets and 155 vet nurses); and Kildare with 267 (211 vets and 56 nurses).
The Veterinary Council is the statutory body responsible for the regulation and management of the practice of veterinary medicine and veterinary nursing in the state
Earlier this year, the Council predicted that increasing numbers of Irish veterinary students qualifying in universities abroad, as well as increasing numbers of foreign vets registering to practice in Ireland, will help to meet the growing demand for large animal vets in rural areas.
Vets from throughout Europe are eligible to register with the Veterinary Council of Ireland through the Professional Qualifications Directive.
The Directive facilitates the free movement of veterinary practitioners within the EU, through the mutual recognition of professional qualifications.