With the increase in retirement numbers of veterinarians and more and more students in veterinary science opting to take care of pets instead of farm animals, the vets who are taking care of these animals have to drive for hours in order to meet with clients.

With the decrease in the number of qualified veterinarians that take care of large animals at ranches and slaughterhouses, officials are worried that this might impact food safety, and which could not affect consumers in the United States but also the products that are exported as well.

According to statistics, almost half of the large animal vets are above the age of fifty whereas only 4.4 percent of these vets are under the age of thirty, and if that’s not enough almost a third of large-animal veterinarians who are qualified to work at the federal level will retire in the next three years.

In another study conducted on veterinary school students, it was found that only 2 percent of the graduating class of 2010 had planned to work with large non-pet animals. And while most people studied a curriculum that involved most types of animals, the responses in the study leaned towards the practicing of pet care.

And this why several states and schools have been trying to get more students to apply for large-animal veterinary medicine by giving preference to people who are interested in this field over those who want to pursue a course in veterinary pet care. Other states offer some form of a repayment program or incentives for vets who graduate with a loan of about $ 134,000, and are willing to work in a region where there is a strong need for vets.

And while federal legislators have just introduced bills like the Veterinary Services Investment Act to boost the number of large animal veterinarians through the expansion of the practice of established vets by recruiting assistants, the current shortfall (which will magnify over the coming years) can lead to farmers taking measures that might not be in the best interests of their farm animals.