Vets say a nationwide shortage of staff, the drought and the uncertainty of Covid-19 is pushing them to a breaking point. Veterinary Association NZ chief officer Helen Beattie says the country is between 50 and 100 vets short, and this is affecting the well-being of both people and animals. She says there are of vets out there that are going well above and beyond but that can only work for a limited time. Helen Beattie says NZVA has vets who have had to stand down temporarily due to a lack of work-life balance affecting the well-being of them and their families. Geraldine vet Hilary McCullough says her rural practice needs three more staff to help take pressure off current workers. She wants a softening of border rules to allow in overseas vets and more effort put in to retaining vets thinking about leaving the industry. The government did allow 30 vets into the country last year but the Vet Association says while they are pushing for further border exemptions with the government – they are not seeing much progress.
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