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Veterinary Surgeons

Volume 655: debated on Thursday 8 March 1962

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, in view of the fact that in this country there are only 103 qualified veterinary surgeons for each one million animals as compared with France where there are 194 and Denmark where there are 186, what steps he is taking to encourage the expansion of the teaching facilities in veterinary colleges and an increase in the number of students in those colleges.

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons has told me of its anxieties about the number of veterinary surgeons likely to be available in the future and I intend to have a study made of the steps we could take to improve the position.

Can the Minister tell us the reason for this disparity in the figures and for the inferiority we have to accept compared with France and Denmark? If he does know the reason, will he tell us?

I do not think it is necessarily right that the number of veterinary surgeons per million animals in one country which perhaps has a large acreage but a scattered population would be the same as the figure appropriate for a small country with a concentrated population of animals.