13 May 2010

Vet council tracks workforce numbers more closely

10:04 am on 13 May 2010

The Veterinary Council is taking steps to keep a closer track of the workforce so it can anticipate where future vet shortages, or oversupply, might occur.

The council, which registers practicing vets, has been gathering basic data in an annual survey.

Council chairman Dr Ron Gibson says it's expanding the information it collects to gain a fuller understanding of what the workforce is doing.

Dr Gibson says despite the veterinary workforce increasing by almost 30% since 2002, there's still a shortage of vets who work on farm animals.

That's mainly driven by the expansion of dairy farming in the South Island, he says, though another factor is that fewer people are choosing to work in that area.

Women veterinarians now comprise almost half of the active vet workforce.

Almost one third of vets working in New Zealand were trained overseas.