It’s reported that a staggering 3.2 million people have bought a pet since the first lockdown, meaning that vets are in higher demand than ever before.
Vet Gareth Steel’s new book, Never Work with Animals, might have made some of them think again before making their purchase.
Gareth’s book is a fun and informative read covering everything from the time he was asked to diagnose a dead stick insect to the more newsworthy issues currently facing the profession, such as the Animal Sentience Bill.
He also looks at the the nationwide workforce shortage in the veterinary sector following Brexit and the post-lockdown puppy boom.
Whether you class yourself as a dog or cat person or prefer your four-legged friends to live in a barn, Gareth has seen it all in his almost 26 years of being a vet, working across the UK in both rural and city practices and dealing with all manners of household pets and farm animals.
Now based in Cardiff, he doesn’t shy away from the grittier realities of the profession – whether it’s addressing why the suicide rate for vets is four times higher than the national average or dealing with the mental toll of putting somebody’s companion to sleep – he wants you to understand vets in a way you never could have before.
Never Work with Animals, which is being published on February 3, also covers the highs of the job, as Gareth recounts the time that he had the life-saving idea to go out and buy a chisel mid-surgery to repair Ben the Collie’s leg.
Or when he made the local paper for rescuing Bart the rabbit with some ski poles and the fire brigade.
Gareth sheds light on a range of issues, including farmer welfare and the threat to their livelihood; the link between vets and public health such as TB outbreaks; and the meat industry/food security in the UK.
Born on south-west rural Scotland, Gareth reckons it was due to suffering a broken arm playing rugby as a teenager, which resulted in extra study time meaning he did better in his exams that he could possibly have expected, that allowed him to study veterinary medicine in the first place.
n Never Work With Animals by Gareth Steel is published by Harper Collins and is available on February 3.
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