The prospect of corporate entities taking over Irish veterinary practices would be welcomed by some vets.

One vet in the northwest, who did not want to be named, said being bought out is the only option for some vets to make sure they can retire.

“There is no exit strategy for a lot of vets, especially the older ones or the ones who are working by themselves. There might be no identified successor or issues like that.

“There are farmers who rely heavily on these vets and they [the vets] feel a sense of responsibility to those farmers.

Long hours

“Being a vet now, especially the larger animal vets, is not like it was in the 1970s or 1980s in terms of being financially lucrative. The hours are long, you often don’t get paid for several weeks or months. There aren’t many existing larger vets coming knocking down your door to buy you out.

“Vets care deeply about the health of animals but they have to be concerned about their own future or what they will do into their retirement. For that reason, I know for a fact that some vets would gladly be taken over.”

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