The Veterinary Council of Ireland is to ask vets, vet nurses, farmers and stakeholders about how telemedicine might work in clinical practice.

Telemedicine is the use of electronic communication and technology to provide clinical healthcare remotely.

In 2019, the council said vets were not permitted to diagnose, treat or prescribe a remedy in the absence of an actual physical examination of the animal.

Now, the council has started preparing for a consultation process on telemedicine, according to its annual report for 2020.

The consultation will take place this year and is designed to help identify potential risks associated with telemedicine, identify areas where it may address the needs of both clinician and the public, and to support the potential development of new professional standards and guidance.