Department of agriculture and rural development MEC William Bulwane says the recent recruiting of 12 compulsory community services (CCS) veterinarians will go a long way in improving access to services across the province.
Bulwane said this at the Glen College of Agriculture on Tuesday while addressing the veterinarians.
He noted the department had initiated the compulsory community services programme with the aim of rendering primary animal health services, in conjunction with the national department of agriculture, land reform and rural development.
The new recruits are expected to augment efforts by the provincial government to offer wider services in disease control and prevention, ambulatory services, veterinary public health, and diagnostic services.
Bulwane said access to veterinary services in the country remains limited especially to the poor, adding this programme would assist in reducing the burden.
“Our people in the Free State province benefit a lot from the community service that you are offering, especially those in rural areas. This programme seeks to deal with the lack access to animal health care and veterinary services. With increased access to the two aspects, our farmers stand a better chance to succeed in livestock production,” he noted.
Besides the programme benefiting local communities, it would also provide the newly-recruited veterinaries an opportunity to translate their theoretical knowledge into application, as well as learn and gain experience from the farmers they will be working closely with.
“Our commonage farmers and farmers who are in livestock production are going to benefit a lot from your core functions of diseases prevention, providing education, awareness and rendering ambulatory services. For many rural communities, agriculture is an important sector. Therefore, we ought to work together to promote access to clinical veterinary services and make our people aware of the clinical that we offer,” said the MEC.