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The future of cattle veterinary practice: insights from a qualitative study
  1. Hannah Woodward,
  2. Kate Cobb and
  3. John Remnant
  1. School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham, Loughborough, UK
  1. E-mail for correspondence; john.remnant{at}


The British livestock sector is constantly changing due to environmental and economic pressures, consequentially causing a shift in demand on farm veterinary services. The aim of this study was to explore the future of cattle veterinary practice, using a qualitative approach. Telephone interviews were organised with key opinion leaders within the cattle farm and veterinary sectors to discuss their opinions on the future of the profession. The interviews were recorded and transcribed, and thematic analysis was used to interpret the data. The analysis of these interviews resulted in the development of six key themes that emerged as being important in the future of cattle veterinary practice; veterinary business structure, veterinary practice income, collaboration, the changing role of the cattle vet, the vet–farmer relationship and the new generation of cattle vets. The study identified that the role of the cattle veterinary practitioner in the UK is changing with an increasing focus on data handling, people management and training and advisory skills. It is important that these findings are accounted for in the development of undergraduate and postgraduate veterinary training.

  • qualitative research
  • veterinary practice management
  • veterinary education
  • farming
  • veterinary profession
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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval Ethical approval was granted by The University of Nottingham and all participants were sent a consent form.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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