Veterinary hospital refers to a full service veterinary practice that offers diagnostic tests, surgical procedures, diagnostic imaging, ultrasound, laser surgery, and overnight stays. In addition, full service veterinary hospitals offer dental services and intensive care.
Private veterinarians are generally concentrated in urban and rural areas where there is a large livestock population. In New Zealand, veterinarians operate small companies and employ up to 12 university degree holders. In addition to clinical and preventive services, they offer drugs, vaccines, and artificial insemination.
The livestock industry is highly competitive in New Zealand. The average income of livestock owners is good and their education level is average. New Zealand has been involved in large-scale disease eradication programmes, and has eliminated tuberculosis from cattle.
The livestock industry is also prone to disease outbreaks, and the need for private interventions to supplement government services is apparent. Government veterinarians are limited in their practice, but they can refer livestock owners to private practitioners. Private practitioners can also provide vaccination operations. These operations are a form of delegation, reducing the need for veterinarians to be recruited on a long-term basis.
The livestock industry is also vulnerable to market failures. Insufficient vaccination against contagious animal diseases can lead to irreparable damage. The livestock industry also has limited institutional development. In many countries, livestock producers have only a limited role in the reform process. In most countries, the public sector still plays a dominant role in all veterinary activities.
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