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The 29th World Veterinary Congress calls on veterinarians to take more action

Vancouver, Canada (OIE) – Some 3000 participants attended the 29 th World Veterinary Congress which took place this year in Vancouver ( Canada ) from 27-31 July 2008. World renowned scientists in animal production, animal health and welfare gathered at this major event along with rural and urban veterinary practitioners, representatives from the public Veterinary Services and from academia, and veterinary students from all around the globe.

Under the common theme of “Celebrate our diversity” the five days of intensive discussions focused on the new concept of “One World One Health”. Veterinarians are professionals who through control and eradication of infectious animal diseases – including those transmissible to humans provide a benefit of international and intergenerational scope, considered as a Global Public Good.

With almost 75% of emerging animal diseases having a zoonotic potential, it is timely to address a broader concept of health where scientific disciplines are no longer being segmented.

“Today’s globalised world needs a global strategy for managing growing risks at the human-animal interface and the veterinary profession has a key role to play in this”, said OIE Director General, Dr Bernard Vallat during his keynote address at the Congress.

Further commenting on the need for countries worldwide to have appropriate veterinary legislation in place, Dr Vallat indicated that “the time has come to develop a new leadership in global and national animal health governance, where the alliance between the public and private sector and cooperation with medical bodies are key for the prevention and control of animal diseases”.

But good national veterinary governance linked to effective international veterinary coordination starts way upstream with appropriate veterinary education. Almost 100 countries in the world are poor countries where veterinary education criteria do not yet meet the basic and rapidly evolving needs. There was consensus among participants to urgently harmonise and improve veterinary curricula worldwide and to ask national governments and donors to prioritise investments accordingly in order to meet the increasing worldwide demand for “new veterinarians”, including those needed for the public sector.

“The OIE sees the harmonisation and quality of veterinary curricula as a crucial component of sound national animal health systems. We therefore have taken the concrete action to gather the deans of the veterinary faculties of the world at an international conference next year at OIE Headquarters, to start exploring how minimal requirements of veterinary knowledge can be harmonised and to seek consensus from the veterinary education community as well as from national policy makers in this respect.”, said Dr Vallat.

The first World Veterinary Day Award

The Congress was also the opportunity to present the first World Veterinary Day Award to the Kenyan Veterinary Association (KVA), represented by its President Dr Christopher Wanga.

The OIE together with the World Veterinary Association (WVA) created the World Veterinary Day Award to formally recognise the most successful celebration of the contribution of veterinarians for the benefit of society, whether these activities are carried out by national veterinary associations, alone, or in cooperation with other veterinary bodies.

By celebrating the World Veterinary Day each year on the last Saturday in April, all veterinarians have the opportunity to highlight and illustrate in their countries the different roles they play and the challenges they face today.

“I am happy to say that the Kenya Veterinary Association (KVA) best met the criteria of the Award by celebrating the diversity of the profession with excellent coverage of different subjects such as the regulatory aspects of the profession, clinical and rural practice, wildlife, food safety, food security, animal health and animal welfare”, said the President of the World Veterinary Association (WVA),Prof Leon Russell at the official award ceremony. “The World Veterinary Day Award is a unique opportunity to promote and illustrate the crucial role of veterinarians and I trust it will become an even more celebrated event around the world in the years to come”, he added.

MET: 2017-10-17 09:04:34