TTU experts discuss rural vet shortage


Rural communities are facing a shortage of large animal and rural veterinarians in Texas.

Every year the state of Texas is licensing a little more than 500 new veterinarians, but they say that’s just not enough.

“The workforce demand has outstripped the availability of veterinarians, here in Lubbock there are many practices that simply cannot hire veterinarians,” said Guy Loneragan, a Texas Tech professor and Veterinary Epidemiologist.

He said there’s a need to produce more veterinarians who want to work in small and regional communities all across Texas.

Texas Tech officials are working to change this issue through the School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo, Texas.

Their goal is to facilitate the need for more veterinarians in Texas.

“We have vacancies all across small and regional communities,” Loneragan said.

He said it’s been an issue for decades.

“It was identified in the 60s, then again many decades later and today the problem has only gotten worse, so we need to do this, the problem is growing,” Loneragan said.

Loneragan said vets are critical for so many different aspects of our economy from our family, to public health and food safety.

Saturday, April 27th is designated World Veterinary Day. Loneragan says Texas Tech is working to establish Texas’ first veterinary school in more than 100 years.

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