Veterinary technician services are to be expanded across VetPartners’ 28 farm practices, so clients will have access to the service by the end of the year.
VetPartners has 130 practices in total throughout the UK, including LLM Farm Vets, Westpoint Farm Vets and Garth Pig Vets.
To support the rollout, VetPartners is working with the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) and Reaseheath College in Cheshire to develop a professional qualification for vet technicians.
It is hoped the first-of-its-kind, two-year course will be available from September 2020.
The Lantra/RVC-certified course will take the form of an apprenticeship, with students splitting their time between LLM’s vet practice in Whitchurch – gaining hands-on experience and training from vets – and the classroom at Reaseheath College.
About the VetTech service
Vet technicians work closely with vets to support routine tasks on farm such as disbudding, vaccination, selective dry cow therapy and transition checks.
Announcing the expansion at Dairy Tech, VetPartners farm director Ian Cure said the service would help relieve labour pressure on farms that are lacking skilled staff.
He added: “Vet technicians spend more time on farms than vets. This means they are regularly speaking to farmers which helps build a full picture of what’s going on.”
For the farmer, the advantage is that vet technicians are much cheaper than vets – technicians charge either £30/hour or on a per-headage basis for tasks such as dehorning, whereas vet charges range from £120-£150/hour.
Natalie Parker, VetTech development co-ordinator at LLM Farm Vets, said the service helps relieve pressure on vets while ensuring routine procedures like vaccinations are carried out correctly.
“The VetTech service can take day-to-day tasks, like disbudding, away from vets, leaving them with more time to focus on consultations and health plans.”
How to get involved
To meet demand, VetPartners is looking to take on 20 vet technicians regionally that will work across different farm vet practices. New vet technicians will undertake two weeks of training at LLM Farm vets in Whitchurch.
Currently, the firm is only seeking vet technicians for ruminants, but it’s hoped this will be expanded to practices offering equine, poultry and pig services.
For more information on the new course, or if you are interested in becoming a vet technician and already have experience working on farms, or have recently completed an agriculture degree, email Natalie Parker firstname.lastname@example.org