Central Virginia farms facing shortage of large animal veterinarians
ORANGE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - In order for a pregnant cow to stay healthy, a large animal veterinarian is often needed, but there are only six large animal veterinarians actively practicing in central Virginia.
Doctor Melinda McCall is a large animal veterinarian who covers 20 counties.
“No matter what I have planned for the day, it will be interrupted by anywhere from two to four births, usually in the day,” Dr. McCall said.
As a beef farmer in Orange County, Bob Wilbanks says his relationship with Dr. McCall is critical.
“It would be impossible to be in the cattle industry without a relationship or partnership with large animal veterinarian. We’re in a near crisis now nationwide,” Wilbanks said.
Now with more than 80 pregnant cows in his fields alone, Wilbanks has reason to stay cautious.
“If [Dr. McCall] had three emergencies coming in front of me, I’d have to delay work till she was clear,” Wilbanks said.
McCall says her job is key to both animal health and consumer health.
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