Veterinary workforce

Veterinary workforce issues are vital to Australia. We need enough veterinarians in rural and regional areas to ensure animals receive the care they need. Because these areas are the source of animals for food, having veterinary services available is also vital for the safety of the food we eat and export. It is also important to have enough skilled and experienced vets across the country to help identify and respond to a serious disease outbreak.

A progressive decline in funding for government veterinary services in Australia in the last 20 years may have a significant impact on our ability to manage diseases that affect the nation’s animals.

The AVA runs programs to support rural and regional veterinarians, and also provides ideas and advice to governments about:

  • Promoting sustainable veterinary businesses in rural areas
  • The importance of appropriate funding for government veterinary and diagnostic services
  • Ways to attract and retain young veterinarians in rural practices
  • How to engage private veterinarians in an emergency disease outbreak
  • The role of education and training in veterinary workforce issues
  • The impact of large numbers of new graduates from recently-established veterinary schools.


Workforce data

AVA projects and activities to access and analyse information about Australian veterinarians to facilitate effective workforce planning

Award modernisation

AVA participated in the modernisation of the Veterinary Surgeons’ Award

Frawley report

Frawley’s 2003 Review of Rural Veterinary Services was a comprehensive examination of veterinary workforce issues in Australia.

Craven and Neumann reports

The Craven report (2005) and the Neumann report (2007) further explored veterinary workforce issues and made important recommendations.

Government pathology services

The availability and efficiency of government pathology services are vital in responding to emerging and exotic animal diseases.

National registration

A process is underway to allow veterinarians to practice in all states without needing to be registered in each one.


Senate inquiry into higher education and skills training to support future demand in agriculture and agribusiness in Australia - 10 November 2011

Skilled occupations list 2013 Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency - 18 November 2012

Response to Treasury discussion paper on tax deductions for self-education expenses - 9 July 2013

Skilled occupations list 2014 Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency - 20 November 2013


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