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Vets contribute $620 million to NZ economy

18 March 2005

Vets contribute $620 million to NZ economy

About $620 million a year is added to the New Zealand economy by the veterinary profession according to a new report, Education Minister Trevor Mallard said today.

"This report shows when downstream impacts are added the total spending in the animal health and animal industries totals more than $1.2 billion.

"Animal production in New Zealand generates goods with an annual farm gate value of $11 billion – a 50 per cent rise from the $7.2 billion in 1995."

The BERL report into the economic impacts of the Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences Centre at Massey University on the animal health sector and animal industries, and their overall contribution to the New Zealand, was released at Massey University today.

"Vets earned something like $62 million from servicing the equine industry, which generates about $1.4 billion a year in value-added to New Zealand’s GDP and employs more than 18,000 people."

However, the greatest potential contribution of this industry is hard to quantify. Veterinary expertise is one of New Zealand’s first lines of defence against an outbreak of exotic diseases.

“The recent UK foot and mouth experience showed the effect on tourism was five to six times the agricultural effect, and the long term effects of impaired market access for New Zealand in the event of an outbreak here can only be guessed at."

Trevor Mallard congratulated the IVABS Centre as being one of the top centres of its kind in the world and only one of five veterinary schools accredited by the Australasian, British and American authorities.

“According to BERL, the centre directly pumps $61.6 million into the Palmerston North economy each year, of which $34.2 million is value-added. That equates to 568 full time job equivalents in Palmerston North and 629 nationally."

ENDS

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