Malaysia needs 6,000 veterinarians to meet industry demand

SERDANG, April 27: Malaysia needs at least 6,000 veterinarians to meet industry demands, including improving animal husbandry methods, compared to the current 2,300 veterinarians.

Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (KPKM), secretary-general Datuk Lokman Hakim Ali said Malaysia also aims to achieve a ratio of one veterinarian to 5,000 people (who own pets/livestock), compared to one veterinarian to 14,000 people currently.

“We need approximately 6,000 more veterinarians to help us achieve the aspirations of sustainability and food security,” he told reporters after officiating the World Veterinary Day 2024 at the Livestock section of the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS) here today.

Two local universities, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK), can only produce about 190 veterinarians every year.

“Therefore, we need to strengthen cooperation at the ministry level, including the Ministry of Higher Education, local and private universities. We also need to provide incentive packages or the equivalent of medical officers’ benefits that could increase involvement in this industry,” he said.

The World Veterinary Day celebration with the theme ‘Veterinarians Are Essential Health Workers’, organised by the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) and attended by DVS director-general, Dr Akma Ngah Hamid, provided various activities such as the sale of agricultural equipment products, animal feed, exhibitions of sado (muscular or meaty) cattle, as well as cat examinations and grooming.