KOCHI: In the changing scenario wherein animal welfare is gaining prominence across the world, the veterinary nursing sector in Kerala remains untapped due to lack of attention from the authorities, unlike nursing in human healthcare.
According to the Animal Husbandry Department, there are around 1,152 veterinary hospitals in the State, which handled around 5.5 lakh cases last year.
“Last year, the veterinarians performed around 65,000 operations on animals, both major and minor. The operations were performed by veterinary surgeons with the help of livestock inspectors and assistants. The veterinary nursing sector can provide jobs to around 1,100 veterinary nurses in the State, while across the country the number of job openings will be 96,000,” say experts.
Animal Husbandry director Dr Chandrankutty said currently there were no varsities in the country that offer courses in veterinary nursing, whereas such courses are common in other countries.
“With around 14.25 lakh bovine animals, in addition to around 10 lakh domesticated dogs and a large poultry population, the industry has been gaining momentum in the State over the years. The country’s pet industry has registered an annual turnover of Rs 400 crore in the last fiscal,” said Dr T P Sethumadhavan, director of entrepreneurship at the Kerala Veterinary and Animal Science University.
Whether it is human or animal, it is a stressful experience to undergo treatment for injuries in hospitals. In the case of animals, they often get frightened when they are subjected to treatment. Though it is the job of veterinarians to diagnose, treat and perform surgeries, often it is nursing care that makes the biggest difference as far as animals’ experience is concerned,” said experts.
The Kerala Veterinary University has launched a collaborative workshop on Development of Veterinary Nursing Curriculum as part of an international collaboration with the University of Edinburgh and Edinburgh Napier University in the U.K.
“At the end of the workshop, which is currently underway at the university, the KVASU will come up with a veterinary nursing curriculum that is best suited for this part of the country. Moreover, the university is in the process of designing a career-oriented veterinary nursing programme for the country,” added Sethumadhavan.
caring for animals
■ Animals’ experience could be improved dramatically if nursing care is provided by knowledgeable, well-trained and compassionate individuals
■ There are 1,152 veterinary hospitals in the State, which handled around 5.5 lakh cases last year
■ Of the total 5.5 lakh cases, around 65,000 cases were surgeries - both major and minor
■ If all the veterinary clinics/hospitals are equipped with veterinary nurses, they could generate nearly 1,100 jobs in Kerala and 96,000 jobs across the country.