Large-Animal Veterinarians In Short Supply

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There's a shortage of veterinarians who specialize in large farm animals. It's a problem for farmers and consumers, who need vets to ensure a quality food supply. In New England alone, there will be more than 1,000 vet vacancies in the next six years. That's according to a study by the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tuft's University. The shortage may be due to the shrinking number of family farms, which means fewer children are exposed to agriculture.

ARI SHAPIRO, host:

And if you're just entering the tough job market and wondering what industry needs you, take heed of today's last word in business. It's large animal medicine. There's a shortage of vets who can deal with livestock. That's a problem for farmers and for consumers who need vets to ensure the quality of the food supply. In New England alone, there will be more than 1,000 veterinary vacancies in the next six years, according to the Tufts University Veterinary School.

The shortage could be due to the shrinking number of family farms. It means fewer children are exposed to agriculture. Large animal medicine is demanding, and it's not well paid. That may be one reason only 5 percent of last year's veterinary school grads who went in to private practice focused on large animals. The average starting salary is $53,000. Compare that to vets who treat small pets. They can start off making 60 grand.

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