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Veterinary education in Northern Ireland
  1. David Torrens
  1. 165 Carrowreagh Road, Coleraine, County Londonderry BT51 5LF
  1. e-mail: david.torrens{at}

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FORTY years ago this September, I crossed the North Channel to begin my veterinary education in Edinburgh, Scotland. This September, like every September since, dozens of Northern Ireland's students will similarly take their leave of the Province to study veterinary medicine and surgery in the universities in Scotland, England, the Republic of Ireland and even further afield.

However, the big question that I couldn't answer then and still can't today is why, despite having one in six of the UK's food producing livestock, and the key role of agriculture as the under-pinning foundation of the regional economy, Northern Ireland has no veterinary college; and why so many in the veterinary profession are apparently so set against the provision of any more veterinary courses, in this or any other part of the UK?

In recent years, I joined with those lobbying the Northern Ireland Executive for financial assistance for Northern Ireland veterinary undergraduates. They …

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