Kelowna News

B.C. SPCA calls for support amid growing veterinarian shortage in province

Image Credit: Shutterstock

It's World Veterinary Day and the B.C. SPCA is bringing attention to a growing veterinarian shortage in B.C.

The non-profit animal welfare society has launched a pledge campaign asking the provincial government to provide funding for 20 additional spaces for B.C. students at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine – B.C.'s regional vet school in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

READ MORE: B.C. SPCA shines spotlight on need for more pet-friendly housing

“The demand for veterinary services in B.C. already outstrips the number of vets available, and this situation is only going to get more urgent,” says Craig Daniell, chief executive officer of the B.C. SPCA, in a news release. “Not only does this put our pets and other animals at risk, but the shortage has led to increasing levels of exhaustion, burn-out and, sadly, suicide, within the veterinary profession.”

A labour market study conducted by the B.C. Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training in 2019 indicated B.C. would be short 100 veterinarians per year for each of the subsequent five years, culminating in a shortage of 500 veterinarians by 2024, according to the SPCA.

“The shortage is particularly serious outside of urban areas, where access to veterinary care is already limited and in fields of specialization, such as large animal care,” Daniell says.

Daniell says British Columbia has an opportunity to alleviate the growing vet shortage in the province by providing government funding to support 20 additional spaces for B.C. veterinary students at Western College.

“The key issue is funding,” says Daniell. “Veterinary students pay part of their tuition, with the balance of funding coming from the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. We are urging the provincial government to protect B.C. animals by providing funding for B.C. students to access the 20 open spaces at Western – a cost of approximately $8.3 million annually.”

Without action to address the increasing vet shortage, Daniell says both animals and people are at risk.

READ MORE: B.C. SPCA takes over 100 dogs into care from northern B.C. property

“We are already seeing the negative impact on animals, as access to veterinary care diminishes,” he says. “This includes both individual pet owners and rescue groups such as the BC SPCA, which rely heavily on support from veterinarians in saving the lives of abused and neglected animals.”

He adds that veterinarians also play a key role in protecting public health through their expertise in identifying and mitigating the impact of zoonotic diseases.

To sign the B.C. SPCA’s pledge to support training for B.C. veterinarians, visit the non-profit's website.

 


To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

 


UBCO students, Hellen and Elis surverying cyclists at the UBCO exit on the Okanagan Rail Trail.
Driverless bus could become part of the Rail Trail in Kelowna
A joint UBCO-City of Kelowna study on transit options for the Okanagan Rail Trail through the city is stopping users to get their thoughts. “The need from the city was to explore the opportunity for this corridor, that is available to
Gasthaus on the Lake is a popular German restaurant in Peachland.
Peachland's medieval Gasthaus on the Lake reopens
A popular German restaurant on Peachland’s waterfront is reopening for medieval dining after months of repairs following a burst pipe and the resulting damage. Gasthaus on the Lake is having a soft launch from Wednesday, Sept. 28, to
Local and International media set up as a small line starts to form in front of the Tweed store on Water Street in St. John's on Tuesday, October 16, 2018.
Canopy Growth to sell Tweed, Tokyo Smoke stores to OEGRC and Four20 owner
Canopy Growth Corp. is getting out of the cannabis retail business with two deals to divest its Tweed and Tokyo Smoke stores. The Smiths Falls, Ont. cannabis company announced Tuesday that it sold all of its stores outside Alberta, as well
Artist rendering of proposed housing development on the Ponderosa Lands in upper Peachland.
Peachland golf course project comes with hundreds of homes
More than a decade after first being approved, work is expected to start next year on a new golf course and up to 500 homes on what’s known as the Ponderosa lands in upper Peachland. In 2011, a plan for those lands was approved by the

Top News