Puppies that will become RCMP police dogs play outside B.C. RCMP Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Puppies that will become RCMP police dogs play outside B.C. RCMP Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Animals at risk as B.C. falls behind in educating veterinarians: society

Letter says shortage means animal food security is at risk, rescue groups are limited in saving animals

A society representing veterinarians in British Columbia says a provincial personnel shortage is responsible for animals suffering and dying, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only compounded the problem.

Dr. Al Longair, President of the Society of BC Veterinarians, is among eight who signed an open letter to members of the legislative assembly saying the minister of advanced education won’t meet with them about increasing seats at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine.

Longair says people are waiting weeks for a vet appointment, and in some instances animals have died.

He says the situation has only gotten worse as more people get puppies and kittens during the pandemic.

He says funding the extra 20 seats at the veterinary college in Saskatoon would cost about $8 million a year, but that still wouldn’t cover an estimated shortage of 100 vets per year by 2024 — the worst situation in Canada.

The letter says the shortage means animal food security is at risk, rescue groups are limited to which animals they can save, owners have had to euthanize their horses for preventable illnesses and those with companion animals face long waits for care.

No one from the Ministry of Advanced Education was immediately available for comment on the letter.

ALSO READ: Dead whale floating near White Rock towed to shore for necropsy

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

AnimalsCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Langley’s Madison Sweeney a 5’8” forward who began her career playing for Walnut Grove Secondary, has signed with the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) Cascades women’s soccer team. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley’s Madison Sweeney signs with UFV Cascades soccer team

UFV ‘checks all the boxes’ for former Walnut Grove player

Langley is home to a wide range of outstanding athletes, ranging from cycling champion Svein Tuft to MMA fighter Tristan Connelly and figure skating legend Karen Magnussen (files)
Making a list of Langley’s outstanding athletes

Website organizer is looking for suggestions

On hand for the presentation of a cheque to the Langley Food Bank was Jim Calamunce, executive director of the food bank (L), Langley City councillor Rudy Storteboom (centre) and Mike Partridge, manager of the South Langley IGA. (R) (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Shoppers at Langley IGA stores donate $10K to food bank

Customers showed ‘incredible generosity’ says store spokesperson

When they heard about the vandalism at the outdoor school in Williams Park, students at R.E.Mountain school created a replacement for the outdoor mud kitchen. Because of continuing thefts and vandalism at the outdoor school, the play kitchen is being stored indoors after hours. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley students craft a new ‘mud kitchen’ to replace one vandalized at outdoor school

It isn’t being left outdoor after hours due to continuing problems with vandalism and theft

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds are in the Comox Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Suspected bird strike on Snowbirds plane during training in B.C.

Pilot followed protocols and landed the aircraft on the ground without any problems

BCIT. (Wikimedia Commons)
BCIT apologizes after employee’s ‘offensive and hurtful’ email leaked to Métis Nation

BCIT says employee’s conduct has been investigated and addressed

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

An adult male yellow-breasted chat is shown in this undatd photograph on lands protected in collaboration between the En’owkin Centre and Penticton Indian Band with support through ECCC. The rescue from near extinction for a little yellow bird hinges on the wild rose in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, a researcher says. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, A. Michael Bezener/ En’owkin Centre 2020 *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Rare yellow birds need wild roses to survive in British Columbia: researcher

The importance of local wild roses emerged over a nearly 20-year experiment

RCMP officers search around rows of luggage carts as screens block off an area of the sidewalk after a shooting outside the international departures terminal at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Police say gang conflict in Metro Vancouver may be behind shooting death at airport

Police said this generation of gangsters is taking things to new level and have no regard for community safety

RCMP are looking for information on an alleged shooting attempt near an elementary school in Smithers March 10. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
UPDATE: Man killed in brazen daylight shooting at Vancouver airport

Details about the police incident are still unknown

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

Most Read