Just 331 (16%) of vets work in farm animal-centred practices in Ireland, the Irish Farmers Journal can exclusively reveal.
Figures obtained from an analysis undertaken by the Veterinary Council of Ireland (VCI) show that of the remaining vets in private practice, 776 work with companion animals, 253 work with horses and 780 work in mixed practices that include farm work.
The analysis, which was undertaken last October, also reveals that just 259 practices are based in rural areas while 505 are located in urban premises, although some urban premises provide services in rural areas also.
Of the 2,987 vets on the VCI register as of October last year, 2,144 graduated in Ireland while 843 graduated in universities abroad.
The majority (2,140) of Irish vets work in private practice
There is a broad age range among vets working in Ireland. Almost 40% of all vets are under the age of 40. The age range of 30 to 40 has the greatest number of vets, with 738 in total.
There is a small gap between the genders of the registrants with 1,676 (56.1%) male practitioners and 1,311 female.
The majority (2,140) of Irish vets work in private practice, although some work in more than one sector. A total of 446 vets work for Government or local authority, 92 in universities, 43 in industry, and 276 are non-practising or retired.
Just 3% of veterinary nurses work in farm animal practices in Ireland.
A total of 598 (67%) nurses work in companion animal practices, 205 (23%) in mixed practices, and 61 (7%) in equine practices.
Out of a total of 1,018 veterinary nurses on the VCI register, 984 are female and 34 are male. The majority (86%) of the nurses graduated in Ireland, while 14% graduated abroad.