Bill sets up loan forgiveness program for vets

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The Vermont Legislature is considering a bill that would help alleviate a shortage of large animal veterinarians by helping them repay their college loans.

The bill is designed to attract more veterinarians to practice in Vermont.

Thirteen other states have similar loan forgiveness programs.

A Tufts University study says that to sustain the current number, the state needs at least 70 new vets by 2014. State veterinarian Kristin Haas says that means 13 new large animal vets are needed.

The bill sets up a fund to reduce the loan burden for veterinarians and a board to determine ways to pay for it, through public and private money. The board is expected to report back to the Legislature in December.

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