The Province's Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Stephanie Smith says there is a real shortage of veterinarians and veterinary technologists especially in rural areas.  

She notes in order for Saskatchewan to be fully staffed we need about forty additional veterinarians.

Last month, the province announced it's expanding the eligibility for loan forgiveness for veterinarians and veterinary technologists in a move to encourage more people to look at a career in veterinary medicine and to look at practicing in rural areas.

Last week the province announced in 2023-24 it will be increasing the number of subsidized student seats from 20 to 25 at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).

In 2022-23, the Government of Saskatchewan will provide $11.9 million to the WCVM.  

The new commitment to add seats will mean an investment of $539,000 in 2023-24, increasing annually to $2.2 million by 2026-27 when fully implemented over the four-year Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program.

Agriculture Minister David Marit says the investment in additional student seats demonstrates our government's commitment to addressing the shortage of veterinarians across the province

"This initiative along with the expansion of the Saskatchewan Loan Forgiveness for Veterinarians and Veterinary Technologists, will ensure that ranchers have access to the veterinary experts they need to provide the highest level of care for their animals."

Jackson Goudy is a second-year WCVM veterinary student from Stoughton and president-elect of the Western Canadian Veterinary Students' Association.

He says this is a great way to increase the number of vets delivering animal health care in Saskatchewan.

"I'm really excited for the future of veterinary medicine in Saskatchewan. I think this is a great opportunity for our province, especially with the shortage of veterinarians." 

The WCVM is an internationally-recognized centre for veterinary education, research and clinical expertise that's located on the University of Saskatchewan (USask) campus.