Veterinary Services: Staff

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered at on 6 July 2023.

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Photo of Sarah Owen Sarah Owen Shadow Minister (Levelling Up, Housing, Communities and Local Government)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to help increase the number of vets.

Photo of Mark Spencer Mark Spencer The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Department have several initiatives to help increase the number of vets in the UK. We have established a Veterinary Education and Future Capacity Steering Group, involving representatives from across the profession, as well as Government officials. We are developing a range of short and long-term policy options to increase current capacity. This includes work collectively to improve retention within the profession, strengthen our domestic pipeline by ensuring our education system is sustainable and that we have balanced approach to overseas recruitment.

Alongside this, the new veterinary schools opening at Harper Adams & Keele, the Scottish Rural College, University of Central Lancashire & the University of Aberystwyth will ensure that there are more UK qualified vets entering the profession in the next few years. Defra is also considering legislative options, when parliamentary time allows, to help better enable the wider veterinary team including veterinary nurses and other allied professionals to help loosen the burden on the practising vet and allow more rewarding careers for the sector.

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