The Joint Committee on Agriculture meets today to discuss proposals by a Tipperary TD which would prohibit ownership of a veterinary practice by anyone other than a vet.
Deputy Jackie Cahill – who is chair of the committee – is seeking to amend the Veterinary Practice Act 2005 which currently allows ownership of such practices by people other than vets.
The Thurles TD says the move is in a bid to prevent private corporations from having undue control of the sector.
He says it’s crucial that the Veterinary Council of Ireland be able to regulate practices and to do this, practices need to be owned by licenced veterinarians.
“In other countries where we have seen corporates taking over veterinary practices, the cost of the service has increased, both urban and rural and the level of service has declined.
“Also, we’ve seen a number of articles there in recent weeks that it’s hard to attract young vets into practices, especially into large animal practices and if they don’t see a career progression where you know they can own a practice and become a partner in a practice, they are not going to take this route and this will end up with a scarcity of vets in large animal practices.”