The British Columbia government says it is permanently doubling the number of subsidized seats for people who want to train to become veterinarians and practise in the province.
Education Minister Selina Robinson says the government will provide $21.8 million over three years to subsidize students who want to train to be vets at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatchewan.
B.C. has been funding 20 seats at the university, but Robinson says the new money will allow for 40 students from the province to meet the growing demand for veterinarians, especially among farmers and ranchers in the Fraser Valley and Northern B.C.
The college has been training B.C.’s veterinarians for five decades, and Robinson says the multi-year funding boost will give students “certainty,” while addressing the need to train and retain vets in communities essential to B.C.’s food security.
Robinson says the province will also open a new animal health centre in the Fraser Valley to address the increased need for veterinary care for cattle and other large animals.
Agriculture Minister Pam Alexis says the need in communities for animal doctors is clear and the government is taking action to both recruit and train more veterinarians.