Last year saw an increase in the number of vets joining the Veterinary Council of Ireland (VCI) register, with 2,907 vets registered, the highest number ever, according to the VCI.

The increase to 2,907 vets by year end is up from 2,818 at the end of 2018.

The total number of veterinary nurses increased to 1,038 by year end, up from 935 in 2018. The number of certified veterinary practice premises increased to 765, up from 748 the previous year.

The number of registered veterinary practitioners exceeded 2,900 for the first time since the establishment of the council’s register.


Niamh Muldoon, registrar and chief executive of the Veterinary Council of Ireland said 2019 was a landmark year for the Veterinary Council.

“We now have the highest number of vets ever in Ireland, showing the opportunities available in the veterinary professions and the robust health of the industry.

“There are many challenges still ahead of us in 2020 and beyond, and we look forward to working with our registrants to meet them head on”.


The council received 32 applications for inquiries into fitness to practise in 2019. This is an increase on 2018, in which 28 complaints were received.

Each complaint is investigated by the council’s preliminary investigation committee, which decides whether there is sufficient cause to warrant further action being taken.

It determined and concluded 28 out of the 32 cases received. Four of these cases remain under investigation and the outcome will be determined in 2020. Notably, 65% of complaints received in 2019 related to cats and dogs.

Four related to horses, two to cattle and one to sheep. One related to a bird and one related to a rodent.

Of the 28 complaints concluded by the Council’s Preliminary Investigation Committee in 2019, two of the complaints were determined to warrant fitness to practise inquiries. An additional complaint made in late 2018 was also referred to inquiry in early 2019. The final outcome of these cases has not yet been determined by the Council.

Commitment to deliver

Joe Moffitt, president of the Veterinary Council of Ireland said: “The Veterinary Council remains resolute in its commitment to deliver on its aims and objectives in ensuring trusted and effective veterinary regulation in the years ahead.

“I look forward to working with my esteemed council colleagues, executive team and stakeholders in the months ahead to continue our engagement and influence in the best interests of animal health and welfare, and public health,” he said.

The council’s strategic objectives for the coming years include bringing animal health and welfare practices in line with One Health, One Welfare initiatives and maintaining the confidence of the public and veterinary industry workers.

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