Thursday, 11 February 2021

Questions (342)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

342. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if his Department has examined the impact of the purchase of veterinary practices by vulture funds; his plans for specific provisions to ensure that adequate veterinary capacity remains available to the agrifood sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7753/21]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The availability of veterinary services in rural areas is a matter that my Department has been reviewing in the context of the National Farmed Animal Health Strategy.

From the latest available figures, registered practitioner numbers in Ireland grew from 2,473 in 2015 to 2,907 in 2019 representing an increase of 15%. Over the same period, there has been an increase of more than 35 practices. Also, I understand that in 2020 more than 3,000 veterinary practitioners were in the register of the VCI – an all time high.