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Town of Didsbury supports call for more veterinarians

Vet shortage in rural Alberta prompts resolution at upcoming Alberta Municipalities convention

DIDSBURY - The Town of Didsbury will be presenting a resolution at the upcoming Alberta Municipalities convention calling for more to be done to address the current shortage of veterinarians in the province.

Council approved the resolution at a recent meeting and authorized it to be presented.

Mountain View County councillor Gord Krebs, a veterinarian himself, made a presentation to Didsbury's town council asking the municipality to sponsor the resolution to Alberta Municipalities, which represents urban municipalities across Alberta.

There is a current shortage of more than 800 veterinarians and veterinary technicians in Alberta, he said.

Krebs spearheaded the writing of the Attraction and Retention of Veterinarians to Rural Veterinary Practice resolution in cooperation with veterinarian educators and others.

The resolution calls for Alberta Municipalities to support veterinary education in Alberta and urges the government of Alberta to officially endorse new programs at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCMV) that will “help alleviate the veterinarian shortage crisis in small/mid-sized urban municipalities that also serve rural regions.”

It also calls for Alberta Municipalities to work with the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine to expand the faculty's admissions committee and provide, on an ongoing basis, a select number of committee members who are located in, and familiar with, small/mid-sized urban municipalities in Alberta.

If passed at the Alberta Municipalities convention, the resolution would be used to lobby the provincial government.

The resolution has already been accepted and approved by the Rural Municipalities of Alberta, which represents 69 rural municipalities, including Mountain View and Red Deer counties.

Last week the provincial government announced new funding for students positions at the UCVM and for new infrastructure to support veterinary medicine in Alberta. 

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