State Lawmaker Worried About Veterinarian Shortage

Thursday, September 28th 2006, 6:12 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- An Oklahoma lawmaker says rural Oklahoma may soon face a shortage of large animal veterinarians.

State Representative Don Armes of Faxon says a solution needs to be found before the state finds itself with an unsafe animal and food crisis.

At Faxon's request, a state House committee is conducting a legislative study on how to attract and retain large animal veterinarians in rural Oklahoma.

The executive vice president of the Oklahoma Cattleman's Association, Scott Dewald, says one reasons for low numbers of large animal veterinarians is the high cost of tuition and the resulting debt for veterinary students.

Officials say the average student debt for graduates of the Oklahoma State University Veterinary School is about $70,000.