VANCOUVER, B.C. – World Veterinary Day is approaching, and the BC SPCA is speaking about the veterinary shortage in the province.
The BC SPCA is launching a pledge campaign to ask the provincial government to help provide funding for 20 additional spaces for B.C. students at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), which is B.C.’s regional vet school in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
“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. 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,” says Craig Daniell, chief executive officer of the BC SPCA.
A study that was conducted by the B.C. Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training in 2019 stated that the province would be short 100 vets per year for the subsequent five years, amounting to a shortage of 500 vets by 2024.
According to Daniell, a key issue is funding as vet students usually pay part of their tuition and the remaining balance comes from funding from the Ministry.
“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.”
For more information and to sign the pledge, it can be found on the BC SPCA website.