Heidi Strawn
February 24, 2009

Animal physiologist Cheryl Dyer with 10 day-old piglets
Photo courtesy of Keith Weller

Animal physiologist Cheryl Dyer observes healthy, 10-day-old piglets.

By now, many farmers and future livestock owners have heard about the shortage of large animal veterinarians–or as they’ve been called by some, “food-supply veterinarians.”

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Farmers need large-animal vets to help them care for their farm animals.

And consumers need them to be around when it comes to keeping our food supply safe.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) offers new hope to consumers and livestock owners–and a great resource for future vets–through its Food Supply Veterinary Medicine Web page.

According to the AVMA, more than 85 billion pounds of meat and poultry are processed in the United States each year. And in China and Mexico, meat consumption has been increasing significantly. The AVMA further reports that veterinarians are at or near the top of the list of professionals who help keep our food supply safe.

And with the recent years’ food scares–and more buzz about the veterinarian shortage–the AVMA’s new web page is all the more relevant. 

Not only does the new page talk about the shortage, it also inspires future veterinarians with career videos and examples of what veterinary schools and states are doing to attract more students to food supply veterinary medicine.

Says AVMA Chief Executive Officer W. Ron DeHaven, DVM, “The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the demand for veterinarians will increase by 35 percent in the next several years, much faster than the average for all occupations.”

An AVMA study says the demand for veterinarians in food supply veterinary medicine will increase about 13 percent–at the same time, the number of vets will fall short of what is needed by about 4 percent or 5 percent annually.

Find the new web page here.

Source: AVMA

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