FOR many, Yorkshire will always be synonymous with All Creatures Great and Small, the legendary TV series inspired by the Thirsk vet Alf Wight whose James Herriot tales about rural life still resonate today.
Yet, while Mr Wight passed away in 1995, it is one of his protégés, Peter Wright, who now co-stars in The Yorkshire Vet and who is becoming worried about the future of the profession as trainees drop out at an alarming rate.
“We are finding now a lot of vets don’t want to come in Herriot-style and work days and nights, weekends. Really a lot of vets nowadays want nine to five (hours), five days a week,” he laments.
This quandary over work-life balance is one which agriculture is going to need to confront.
For, just as the NHS has to treat patients on a 24/7 basis, the same also applies to the veterinary care of livestock and other animals in distress.
How it would sadden Alf Wight that young vets contemplating country practice today even need reminding of this.