Veterinary Council welcomes 321 new vets and 126 veterinary nurses to register in 2023

15 Feb , 2024  

The Veterinary Council of Ireland (VCI), the statutory body responsible for the regulation and management of the practise of veterinary medicine and veterinary nursing in the state, welcomed 321 new vets and 126 new veterinary nurses to its register in 2023. The VCI believes this influx of additional talent will benefit animal health and welfare in Ireland. New vet registration is up 6% when compared to 2022.

The total number of vets and veterinary nurses on the Veterinary Council register currently stands at 3,522 and 1,263 respectively, which is an all-time high. The Veterinary Council’s figures are growing year on year, which is welcome at a time when demand for vets and veterinary nurses is significant and continually increasing.

Cognisant of veterinary recruitment and retention challenges, and with consideration of policy and workforce planning for the decades ahead, the Veterinary Council has established a Workforce Review Working Group, which will analyse the register data and publish a report containing recommendations on the factors impacting recruitment and retention of vets and veterinary nurses on our registers.

Of the 321 newly registered vets in 2023, 85 were awarded their Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine Degree from UCD. The remaining vets graduated from a number of schools of Veterinary Medicine abroad, with the most popular being Warsaw Agricultural University (which accounted for 29 newly registered vets) and Budapest University of Veterinary Science (which accounted for 18 vets). 

The counties which accounted for the most new vets in 2023 were:

  • Cork – 21 newly registered vets in 2023
  • Dublin – 20 newly registered vets in 2023
  • Kildare – 16 newly registered vets in 2023
  • Galway – 11 newly registered vets in 2023
  • Donegal – 10 newly registered vets in 2023
  • Tipperary – 10 newly registered vets in 2023
  • Wexford – 8 newly registered vets in 2023
  • Mayo – 6 newly registered vets in 2023
  • Kerry – 6 newly registered vets in 2023
  • Cavan – 5 newly registered vets in 2023
  • Clare – 5 newly registered vets in 2023
  • Derry – 2 newly registered vets in 2023
  • Down – 2 newly registered vets in 2023
  • Tyrone – 2 newly registered vets in 2023
  • Antrim – 1 newly registered vet in 2023

Niamh Muldoon, CEO and Registrar of the Veterinary Council of Ireland, said “The Veterinary Council believe the influx of talent in the veterinary sector in 2023 will help to meet growing demand for veterinary services across Ireland. We are pleased to welcome all the vets and vet nurses who joined our register in 2023.

“We recognise that veterinary recruitment and retention is a challenge in many areas across the country, in Ireland and abroad. Our Workforce Review Working Group will examine these challenges closely and develop recommendations to address these challenges.

“The Government and Higher Education Authority are also considering proposals for additional capacity in veterinary places in third level institutions. The Veterinary Council plays a key role in the regulation of veterinary medicine education, ensuring veterinary education and training is benchmarked to the highest international standards. In the meantime, we are continuing to work with all of our registrants and our stakeholders in the interest of the public and of animal health and welfare.”