Quebec boosts bursaries for future livestock vets

A Quebec bursary program aimed at encouraging veterinary students to consider livestock medicine will be sweetened for those planning a rural practice.

Provincial Agriculture Minister Pierre Corbeil on Wednesday announced that on top of the $10,000 bursary already offered, veterinary students who choose to practice in more remote regions of Quebec can be eligible for another award of $15,000.

The program, first announced in February last year with $5,000 and $10,000 bursaries, requires students to be enrolled in a fourth of fifth year of university study, respectively, and registered for the doctorate program in the University of Montreal’s faculty of veterinary medicine at St-Hyacinthe.

An applicant also needs to state his or her intention to steer a veterinary career toward work with food animals, the province said.

Given veterinarians’ contribution to animal and public health and agrifood safety, the bursary program is considered a “concrete gesture” toward development of the ag industry in all regions of the province, Corbeil said in a release.

As the province noted last February and again Wednesday, statistics from Quebec’s veterinary medical association show a significant number of veterinarians plan to retire within the next three years — thus the ministry said it aims to provide a succession plan for veterinary service in all regions.

This year’s deadline for veterinary students to apply for the provincial bursary is March 15.

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