Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) welcomes today’s announcement by the Honourable Jon Reyes, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills & Immigration, and the Honourable Derek Johnson, Minister of Agriculture, regarding the expansion of seats available at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine.
“Today’s announcement to expand seats at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine is a positive step from the province to help address the current shortage of veterinarians in Manitoba, who provide essential services to our livestock producers,” said KAP President, Bill Campbell.
The shortage of veterinarians in Manitoba, based on a survey earlier this year from the Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association, is approximately 68 full time positions and has caused delays to the livestock sector, which contributed $2.78 billion to the Manitoba economy in 2021.
“KAP has been working with the provincial government and industry partners through our labour coalition to address this shortage,” stated Campbell. “These partners include Dairy Farmers of Manitoba, Manitoba Pork, Manitoba Egg Farmers, Manitoba Beef Producers, Manitoba Forage & Grassland Association, Manitoba Turkey Producers, Manitoba Sheep Association, Manitoba Bison Association and Manitoba Chicken Producers.”
This increase in seats represents one of the four recommendations from KAP’s labour coalition to the Government of Manitoba, which were presented earlier this summer in a letter to Minister Reyes and Minister Johnson. Other recommendations included implementing measures to ensure veterinary students return and remain in Manitoba, decreasing wait times for qualified foreign veterinarians to practice in Manitoba, and expanding the role of veterinary technicians to help reduce the demand on veterinarians.
“This commitment from the Government of Manitoba demonstrates a positive step toward addressing Manitoba’s shortage of veterinarians in the long-term, and we look forward to continue working with them on behalf of all livestock producers to deliver results on our recommended actions,” concluded Campbell.
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