Rural Veterinary Service Disruptions

Res #: 4-23A
Number: 4
Year: 2023
Midterm: No
Expired: No
Responses Received: Yes
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture

WHEREAS many people in rural Saskatchewan, whether livestock or pet owners, utilize veterinary services on a regular

WHEREAS veterinary services are an essential service for ranchers in rural Saskatchewan to ensure their livelihood.

WHEREAS rural communities are facing a lack of veterinary services due to poor veterinary retention, replacement,
and recruitment, resulting in an animal welfare issue.

BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the provincial government to provide incentive programs to help recruit
veterinarians and veterinary technicians to rural communities, including, but not limited to, funding for relocation,
capital building projects, education, and operating expenses.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that SARM lobby the Saskatchewan Veterinary Medical Association (SVMA) to review the
scope of practice for Registered Veterinary Technologists for expansion to their scope of practice to alleviate pressure
on veterinarians.

Responses From: Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture

May 3, 2023

Recruitment and retention of veterinary professionals in rural communities is challenging for various reasons. Determining the most effective incentives to address them requires additional data and collaboration with the veterinary profession. Some retention challenges are specific to communities and SARM can play a key role in engaging individual communities to see how they can support the veterinary profession. To expand the current scope of practice for Registered Veterinary Technologists, bylaw and/or legislative changes would be necessary. The Saskatchewan Association of Veterinary Technologists and the Saskatchewan Veterinary Medical Association indicate that expanding the scope of practice of Registered Veterinary Technologists may not be necessary if they were used to the top of their capacity within the existing scope. 

Certain activities, such as pregnancy diagnosis, are being explored as potential upskilling opportunities. I encourage SARM to continue to engage with ministry officials, the Saskatchewan Veterinary Medical Association, and the Saskatchewan Association of Veterinary Technologists to further explore these options. 

The Honourable David Marit – Minister of Agriculture