Saturday, December 2, 2023

Vet bonding extended

Neal Wallace
Nearly a third of the 32 graduate vets to benefit from the Government’s voluntary bonding scheme will work in Waikato.
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Veterinary practices in Waikato will get 12 vets and Otago six with four each going to Southland and Manawatu-Wanganui. Canterbury gets three with one each going to Marlborough, Northland and Taranaki.

The Ministry for Primary Industries voluntary bonding scheme is designed to ease the shortage of vets working with production animals in regional practices.

Each bonded graduate gets $55,000 spread over five years.

MPI investment programmes director Steve Penno said the programme was extended this year from 30 graduates to 32 and will cost $1.76 million over five years.

Since its started in 2009, 318 graduates have been through the programme.

“Vets play a vital role in our primary industries and rural communities,” Penno said.

“The voluntary bonding scheme for veterinarians is a key way of attracting skilled workers to hard-to-staff veterinary practices in the regions and giving graduates an early boost to their careers.”

Veterinary Association chief veterinarian officer Dr Helen Beattie said the association supports the extra two extra places in the scheme.

“Anecdotal feedback from our members suggests the ongoing veterinary shortage is a significant issue, including for regional practices with a production animal focus.”

So the association will also support further expansion.

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