A new rule in Ireland will make it more difficult for people to enter veterinary school and will mean that many vets won’t be able to take part in the profession.
A draft bill from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (DAAR) is expected to be published on Monday.
The draft law will make sure that a vet’s education requirement is more stringent than it is now, meaning that only people who have been trained as a veterinary dentist will be eligible to apply for veterinary training.
The new requirements will also mean that only vets with a high school degree or equivalent will be able apply to enter the profession, while others will have to take the test for the requirement.
The bill was put forward by Minister for Agriculture and Natural Resources Simon Coveney in response to an amendment in the Veterinary Teaching Act, 2017 which removed the requirement for veterinary students to be registered as veterinarians.
The law will now only apply to students of veterinary education courses.
There are currently more than 10,000 registered veterinary dentists in Ireland.
The requirement will apply to all vets who are registered to practise as a dentist, whether they are registered in a veterinary college, an association, a university or as a private veterinary practice.
The aim is to allow vets to take more time out of their day and put more of their time into training.
However, there are concerns about the quality of veterinary training, and the DAR said that it would work with the Irish Veterinary Association to work with a variety of veterinary dental associations to make sure vets get the best training possible.
The Irish Veterinary Oral Health and Standards Board is currently investigating whether veterinary training should be compulsory, and there is a petition to change that.
Dr David Walsh, chief executive of the DARE said that the changes would help vets become more aware of their profession and their responsibilities to the public.
He said:”Vets have been in the industry for over 400 years and we have a long tradition of caring for animals and people.
We are proud of the way we treat animals and are committed to improving their lives.”
He added that the legislation was necessary because vets are “highly qualified” to do their jobs, and that the government was committed to ensuring that they receive the best possible training.
“It is the right thing to do to help vets and make sure they have the best opportunities in the future,” Dr Walsh said.
Dr Walsh said the changes are also aimed at helping vets stay on top of their practice.
“The way we look at this is if you’re a vet, the most important thing you do is keep yourself in top physical condition, stay fit, and if you get injured you can get back in there and do the job, which means that it’s a lot more difficult to get injured than it used to be,” he said.
“But if you do get injured, you’ll have the opportunity to be trained again.”