Manitoba vets worried over funding cut to college of veterinary medicine

A Manitoba veterinarian says her industry is worried the province is set to slash funding for students at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine.

The vet school is based in Saskatoon, but Dr. Keri Hudson Reykdal told 680 CJOB Tuesday that the school trains up to 75 per cent of Manitoba’s veterinarians, and that many current vets have heard a cut is in the works.

“We depend on our vet college – which just happens to be in Saskatchewan – for veterinarians here,” said Reykdal, from Ashern, Man.

“There’s already a shortage of veterinarians in Manitoba, particularly in the rural communities.

“Throughout this province, we’ve got veterinarians looking for more vets to come work with them and they can’t find them.”

Alberta recently announced it’ll be phasing out funding for the Western College after a partnership of more than 50 years, in favour of training vets through its own school.

“Manitoba, I don’t think, can come up with enough funding to create our own vet college, so we’re dependent on the Western College for our vets,” she said.

Kelvin Goertzen

Education and training minister Kelvin Goertzen told 680 CJOB in an email that there has not been a reduction in funding and a decision regarding future funding has not been made.

Reykdal, however, said she isn’t satisfied with that response.

“I’m so frustrated seeing this government trying to sneak this cut through without telling the public and without consulting with veterinarians. We were lucky to even find out about it, and now we want to do something about it,” she said.

“We want the public to know that this is going to be bad for them, because it means fewer vets in this province.”

Manitoba currently supports 15 students at the Saskatchewan college.

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