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Manitoba partnering with University of Saskatchewan for more veterinary post-secondary education seats

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The Manitoba government is working to ensure there will be more veterinarians in the province in the future.

The government has reached a new interprovincial agreement with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) at the University of Saskatchewan to expand the number of seats guaranteed for Manitoba.

“We have worked with the Western College of Veterinary to provide five additional seats per year for Manitoba students,” said Jon Reyes, the Minister for Advanced Education, Skills, and Immigration.

“By increasing our annual intake to 20 students from 15, we will support more students to pursue this important career path in order to help build our province’s health-care capacity for years to come.”

The seat expansion will start for the 2023-24 school year and the province will increase funding by $539,200. Reyes said this move means eventually, the province will be supporting 80 students through the four-year program.

“Our government is committed to increasing the availability of quality veterinary care to all Manitobans, especially for the agricultural sector that is so vital to our provincial economy,” said Agriculture Minister Derek Johnson.

Johnson said a new survey shows more than half of veterinary vacancies are in rural Manitoba and around 23 of those vacancies are needed for large animals.

He added healthy animals, in turn, helps produce a healthy agricultural industry.

The president of the Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA) said they are pleased to see this type of investment to help the industry.

“There is currently a large shortage of veterinarians in Manitoba. The commitment to educating more veterinarians will help alleviate the shortage over the long term. In the shorter term, the MVMA will continue to engage with government, veterinary professionals and other stakeholders to address the shortage of veterinary services in Manitoba,” said Dr. Keri Hudson-Reykdal in a news release.

“The province’s support allows more students from Manitoba to achieve their dreams of a career in veterinary medicine. It is also a sound investment in protecting the health and wellness of all animals, from companion animals and wildlife to livestock that plays a critical role in Canada’s agriculture industry and the country’s economy,” said Dr. Gillian Muir, the dean at WCVM, in a news release.

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