The Veterinary Council of Ireland (VCI) added 229 new vets and 107 veterinary nurses to its register during 2020.
The total number of vets and veterinary nurses on the VCI register now stands at 3,045 and 1,087 respectively, hitting an all-time high in terms of the number of veterinary professionals working in Ireland.
The three counties which are home to the largest numbers of vet registrants are Cork with 332, Dublin with 254, and Kildare with 211.
Of the 229 newly registered vets, 100 were awarded their bachelor of veterinary medicine degree from University College Dublin (UCD).
The remaining vets graduated from a number of schools abroad, with the most popular being the University of Medicine in Budapest, which accounted for 31 new vets and the Warsaw University of Life Sciences in Poland, accounting for 12 new vets.
Of the newly registered veterinary nurses, 40 received their qualification from UCD, 20 from Athlone Institute of Technology, 14 from Dundalk Institute of Technology, 10 from St John’s Central and nine from Letterkenny Institute of Technology.
VCI has welcomed the new registrants and believes this influx of additional talent will benefit animal health and welfare in Ireland.
CEO and registrar of VCI, Niamh Muldoon, said: “The high number of vets and vet nurses who joined our register in 2020 is indicative of the demand for veterinary services in Ireland.
“High numbers of Irish students qualifying in universities abroad, and of foreign vets registering to practise in Ireland, will help to meet this demand.”
Vets from throughout Europe are eligible to register with the Veterinary Council of Ireland through the Professional Qualifications Directive.