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.

“Reasons for these record numbers include a trend of retired vets returning to the field and assuming work with the Department of Agriculture at port checkpoints,” CEO and registrar of VCI Niamh Muldoon told the Irish Farmers Journal.

“The number of Irish students travelling abroad to study veterinary at university has also increased and subsequently is boosting the number of vets we have here in Ireland as they return home to work.”

New recruits

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.

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