Julie South, whose company VetStaff specialises in recruiting veterinarians, says there is a shortage of vets in New Zealand and that this has been compounded by Covid-19.
“New Zealand desperately needs veterinarians from overseas to counter our shortage here, and the single measure that would make the biggest difference is reclassifying vets as critical workers,” says Julie South, spokesperson for the Get Vets campaign.
“Designating vets as critical workers would enable veterinarians of all experience levels and all salary bands – not just those earning more than $106,080 as currently required – to work here,” South says.
“Current veterinary staffing shortages are at extreme levels and are dire for animals, for people and for our agricultural sector.”
South says that in not bringing veterinarians into New Zealand, the Government is putting animal welfare at risk.
“They are also placing an enormous strain on the exhausted and stressed vets we have, at a time when they are more important than ever.
“The Government has made the right noises, but its actions have yet to measure up and make any material difference,” she says.
“We desperately need the Government to reclassify veterinarians as critical workers so vets of all skill levels, salary rates, experience levels and disciplines can be eligible to apply to enter New Zealand.”