The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) says veterinarians and rural communities should be insulted at the suggestion that the decision by the Queensland government to back lay operators will not have a negative impact on veterinary businesses and the services they provide in rural communities.
“Income from pregnancy diagnosis lies at the core of cattle practice, not just in simple dollar terms, but the fact that it is routine, schedulable work that can be performed efficiently,” Australian Cattle Veterinarians (ACV) president Dr Ian Bradshaw said.
“This work helps support, and in many cases subsidise, many of the other veterinary services provided to cattle producers, which are often unpredictable, unprofitable and, not uncommonly, are emergencies occurring outside of business hours.
“Responding to veterinary emergencies, be that a calving, investigating a mortality event or a significant disease event doesn’t run to timetables or meet a budget.”
Dr Bradshaw added that rural veterinary practices can use projected income from pregnancy diagnosis to budget on, take to the bank manager and plan employment and business investment activities around in the rural communities they service and support.
Pregnancy diagnosis services often form the basis of meaningful relationships with livestock producers. Where this doesn’t occur, there is inevitably a drop off in property visits for other reasons as well. Without this work, many veterinary practices will adapt by reducing veterinary staff or diverting resources and expertise to small animal and equine work.
“This means that there will be fewer vets with livestock expertise in rural communities, and it will become, over time, more expensive for producers to access veterinary services,” Dr Bradshaw said.
“The biggest losers from this decision, in the long run, will be Queensland producers.”
This article is sourced from the AVA website.