World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) has showcased a blueprint for vets to integrate animal welfare into the curricula and practical training. WSPA’s message was closely linked to the global sustainability theme of the closing event of the World Veterinary Year, held in Cape Town last week, attended by some 2,000 vet professionals from over 150 nations.
In a side-event and at the charity’s conference stand, delegates heard how WSPA’s education and emergency work with veterinarians shows how the profession is interlinked with the ecosystem and human and animal health in the quest for global sustainability. About a billion of the world’s poorest people depend on animals for food, income, social status or cultural identification while nearly half the world’s population is involved in agriculture.
In a speech, WSPA’s Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. David Wilkins explained that vets are uniquely placed to improve animal health and welfare, which impact on humans and the environment, but that welfare must be recognised as an academic discipline before it integral to the veterinary profession globally.
“We Need to Build on Anything that Offers Us a Final Password Out of Poverty”
United voice from young veterinarians-in-training regarding ever increasingly more pivotal role of veterinarians in interface between ecosystem, human health, and animal health to address millennium development goal for eradication of extreme poverty and hunger – world veterinary congress 2011.
2,000-strong delegates – veterinarians, para-veterinarians and other animal healthcare professionals from over 150 nations – attended what has been described as an “immensely successful” Congress – especially as the Congress theme tied in well with the One Health initiative, which was unpacked in certain sessions. One Health is a worldwide strategy for expanding interdisciplinary collaborations and communications in all aspects of healthcare for humans, animals and the environment, in a bid to sustainably manage our collective global survival. The programme explores in-depth the triangle formed by the Human / Animal (both domestic and wild) / Ecosystem interface, with the veterinarian central to this relationship.
Sense of Urgency for Aquatic Veterinary Medicine to Address Global Food Security
The Millennium Development Goal for not least the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger came to mind during today’s World Veterinary Congress 2011 session titled “Aquatic Veterinary Epidemiology and Biosecurity for Vets”. Chaired by Dušan Pali?, speakers included David Scarfe and Chris Walster. Aquaculture represents to a large degree the future of the global food supply. There is an ever increasing number of subsistence farmers globally in the face of the decline of traditional fisheries. A major plus is that aquaculture does not hold any major barriers to entry. Although in its stage of infancy in many countries, advances in aquaculture continuously take place and the advancement of this field of veterinary medicine represents the Holy Grail in terms of keeping the anticipated one-third more people on our planet by 2050 fed in the light of fewer resources.
Globally, aquaculture produces approximately 155 million metric tons, roughly slightly less than all of the harvest fisheries in the world. Aquaculture is growing at around 9 to 14 percent annually. With this in mind, and to combat existing and emerging diseases, the World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association has helped organise four days of veterinary programmes. Educational institutions such as the University of Pretoria (UP) Faculty of Veterinary Science, Onderstepoort, are credited with assisting in the move towards increased awareness via taking forward education on terrestrial animals and applying this to aquaculture. Onderstepoort is leading the way in terms of assisting other African countries with aquatic testing.
11 October 2011, Cape Town
The year 2011 has been declared World Veterinary Year as the Veterinary fraternity celebrates its 250th anniversary. South Africa is proud to be part of this global celebration by hosting the 30th World Veterinary Congress, and is particularly honoured to be the first to host this August congress in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Veterinary science in South Africa dates back to approximately the period 1874 to 1876, with the appointment of the first Colonial Veterinary Surgeons within South Africa. Until then, the veterinary profession was unknown in the country. Dr. Jotello Soga was the first South African to qualify as a veterinarian in 1886 at the University of Edinburgh. He returned to South Africa to do research on animal diseases in the Eastern Cape Border region. He was the son of a Xhosa missionary, Tiyo Soga, the first black South African to be ordained as a minister who translated the Gospel into Xhosa.
During 1891, Dr Arnold Theiler, a young Swiss veterinarian, arrived in Pretoria. Upon his arrival there were no facilities for research within Pretoria. As a state veterinarian, Dr. Arnold Theiler established a research institute to produce vaccines and to conduct research at a site in Daspoort, near Pretoria.
In 1896, the disease, Rinderpest, swept through South Africa, destroying over half of the country's livestock population and almost 95% of the country's cattle herds within two years. Rinderpest was the worst animal disease pandemic which South Africa has ever experienced and it was the impetus which stimulated the beginning of professionally based veterinary research in South Africa. 2011 therefore calls for further celebration as the World Organisation for Animal Health (also known as the OIE) has declared the global eradication of Rinderpest.
Animal Health, Food Security and the Millennium Development Goals Under the Radar at World Veterinary Summit
[SOUTH AFRICA – Cape Town] Scott Newman, in his opening remarks from the FAO of the United Nations at the World Veterinary Summit, held today, Tuesday 11 October 2011 during the 30th World Veterinary Congress (WVC2011), taking place until Friday at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), made reference to the veterinarian’s contribution in terms of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s).
Some 2,000-strong delegates from over 170 nations are currently attending the Congress, which represents the most extensive veterinary scientific showcase yet to emerge on African soils. It is the first time in sub-Saharan Africa that the Congress is being hosted, having previously been held in Tunisia.
According to Newman, veterinarians have an essential role in attaining the MDG’s, including:
• Eradication of extreme poverty and hunger
• Achieving universal primary education;
• Promoting gender equality and empowerment of women;
• Reducing child mortality;
• Improving maternal health;
• Combating HIV / Aids and other diseases;
• Ensuring environmental sustainability;
• Establishing global partnerships for development.
This includes the promotion of veterinary and public health, improved nutrition, enhancing access to food for the most needy, ensuring sustainable natural resources, and the prevention of animal diseases that impact directly on livelihoods, food security, wildlife, and people.
A group of 26 veterinarians and partners have toured the Kruger National Park this past week as a prelude to the World Veterinary Congress in Cape Town.
The visitors have seen the “big five” and experienced the trill of seeing African animals in their own habitat.
A highlight of the tour was a visit to the veterinary wildlife centre at Skukusa where the visitors gained an insight into the management of the animals and the problems they encounter.
The Veterinarians are now en route to Cape Town to join their colleagues from around the World for the 30th World Veterinary Congress which starts on Tuesday the 11th of October with the Opening Ceremony and the WVA Summit.
South African Veterinary Association Community Veterinary Clinics to Take Centre Stage at World Veterinary Congress 2011
‘Societal Obligation For Veterinarians To Be The Managers And Arbiters Of Animal Welfare’
[SOUTH AFRICA – Cape Town] Animal Welfare ranks high on the agenda at the 2,000-delegate-strong 30th World Veterinary Congress, taking place Monday 10 until Friday 14 October at the Mother City’s Cape Town International Convention Centre.
If one considers the abstract of one of the papers being presented on this topic, it makes sense that Animal Welfare should be so high on the agenda. Dr Jim Edwards’ abstract includes the following: “Veterinarians will need to actively participate and take the lead in animal welfare. The veterinary profession is unique with its knowledge and expertise in animal health and welfare and public health. There is a societal obligation for the profession to be the managers and arbiters of animal welfare.”
Linked to the above thinking, a topic set to come under scrutiny will be a paper on the South African Veterinary Association Community Veterinary Clinics (SAVA CVC) where, given that in South Africa there are unfortunately no state-run veterinary hospitals or clinics, private veterinarians donate their time and skills to provide basic animal healthcare to disadvantaged communities or those who have no access to veterinary services.
The SAVA CVCs’ main activity is Primary Healthcare: vaccinations, parasite control and sterilisations. There is also a fair amount of emphasis on educating pet owners about basic pet care such as nutrition. A booklet entitled "Your best Friend" is available in 7 official languages (English, Afrikaans, Sesotho, isiZulu, Setswana, Xhosa, and Tsonga). These booklets are distributed countrywide, in a bid to reach as many communities as possible.
Fascinating Veterinary History to Fall Under Spotlight at Mother City Hosted World Veterinary Congress 2011
[SOUTH AFRICA – Cape Town] Papers covering the fascinating history of the veterinary profession both from a South African and global perspective are certain to attract a high number of the 2,000 delegates attending the 30th World Veterinary Congress (WVC2011), being held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) between Monday 10 and Friday 14 October.
All kudos to the Mother City for hosting the most extensive veterinary scientific showcase yet to emerge on African soils – the perfect opportunity to give credit to icons in the history of the veterinary profession such as Dr Jotello F. Soga, the Xhosa Edinburgh University graduate who was South Africa’s first veterinarian yet who – despite umpteen achievements – was denied a permanent position in the the Cape Colonial Administration on racial grounds.
Other papers being delivered will cover a great many topics of historical interest.
Xhosa Gentleman Was South Africa’s First Veterinarian
Played Leading Role In Eradicating Rinderpest, Conducted Extensive Research, Sought-After Conference Speaker – Acknowledged By Lord Milner Yet Denied Permanent Post On Racial Grounds.
[SOUTH AFRICA – Cape Town] A highlight of the most extensive veterinary scientific showcase yet to emerge on African soils – the 2,000-delegate strong 30th World Veterinary Congress (WVC2011) being held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre between Monday 10 and Friday 14 October 2011 – will be a tribute in the form of a talk and a short film in remembrance of the Xhosa gentleman who was South Africa’s first veterinarian. Dr Jotello Soga played a leading role in eradicating rinderpest, conducted extensive research and was a sought-after speaker at conferences attended not least by Afrikaner farmers. The tribute will form part of the Congress session dedicated to the history of the profession across the globe.
A man well ahead of his times, Soga graduated from Edinburgh University in the United Kingdom in 1886. His multiple achievements were acknowledged by British Governor Lord Alfred Milner, but he was denied a permanent position in the Cape Colonial Administration on racial grounds. Despite this powerful barrier, Dr Soga frequently contributed articles on veterinary medicine to professional journals and was a co-founder of the old Cape Colony Veterinary Society in 1905. He died in 1906 at the age of 41.
As for the Congress as a whole, matters of real importance to the health and wellbeing of all South Africans as well as to the national, continental and global economy will be under discussion as the Congress explores the theme “Caring for animals: healthy communities.” Worldwide, there are an estimated 70 billion poultry, 12 billion cattle, sheep and goats, 1.5 billion pigs, 223 million domestic dogs and 220 million domestic cats.
The most extensive veterinary scientific showcase yet to emerge on African soils takes place this October when Cape Town – the Mother City – plays host to the 30th World Veterinary Congress (WVC2011). This is the first time in sub-Saharan Africa that the Congress is being hosted, having previously been held in Tunisia. With the welcoming address already delivered to the estimated 2,000 delegates at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) between 10h30 and 12h30 on Monday 10 October, Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson in the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry then officially opens the Congress.
Matters of real importance to the health and wellbeing of all South Africans as well as to the national, continental and global economy will be under discussion between Monday 10 and Friday 14 October as the Congress explores the theme “Caring for animals: healthy communities.” Worldwide, there are an estimated 70 billion poultry, 12 billion cattle, sheep and goats, 1.5 billion pigs, 223 million domestic dogs and 220 million domestic cats.
2011 holds much significance for the veterinary profession as the Congress takes place during World Veterinary Year, with the related theme of “Vet for health, vet for food, vet for the planet!” In this regard, the Congress will play host to the closing event for the global World Veterinary Year celebrations. 2011 furthermore represents the 250th anniversary of veterinary education and of the veterinary profession. It is also 250 years since the concept of ‘comparative pathobiology’ first came into being. The World Veterinary Association celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2013, while Onderstepoort held their Centenary celebrations in 2008. The South African Veterinary Association (SAVA) is 109 years old.
(An updated programme will shortly be supplied to media – for example, the OIE - World Organisation for Animal Health - initiative at the Congress includes the setting up of collaboration in not least the SADEC region, with Deans and Registrars at veterinary academic institutions meeting up at the Congress).
Saturday 8 October
Set up exhibition (contractors only).
Sunday 9 October
Contractors for stand-only spaces move in. Registration and Information desks open for delegates.
Monday 10 October
Shell-scheme exhibitors move in. Registration & Information desks.
Pre-congress day (small animals).
COCKTAIL FUNCTION in Exhibition Hall (media welcome – Exhibition Hall, CTICC). At this event, the Trade Exhibition will officially be opened, with SAVA President Dr Riaan du Preez welcoming delegates and the trade. (To date, close on 1,000 individuals have RSVPd and plenty more are likely to RSVP).
Tuesday 11 October
OPENING: PLENARY SESSION (media welcome – Auditorium 2, CTICC).
Parallel sessions to follow. (Plenary session programme will shortly become available to media on request).
Wednesday 12 October
SOCIAL EVENING OFF-SITE (please note: media can attend this if purchasing a ticket at R685 per person from email@example.com – venue: Grand Café and Beach, situated between Cape Town Stadium and the V&A Waterfront.
Thursday 13 October
Closing Ceremony (media welcome – Auditorium 2, CTICC).
GALA DINNER (please note: media can attend this if purchasing a ticket at R685 per person from firstname.lastname@example.org).
Friday 14 October
• Congress programme
• List of exhibitors
• Speaker bio’s will become available to media shortly (presentations available with speaker permission by date of Congress, in some instances pre- Congress)
• Speaker photo’s will become available to media shortly
• Further historical articles of interest:
o The history of foot and mouth disease (FMD): An African perspective;
o Now Rinderpest is really history!
o The socio-political impact of sheep scab
o History of Orbivirus Research in South Africa
o The History of African and Classical Swine Fever in southern Africa
o Lamsiekte – solving the aetiology riddle
o The Impact of Lungsickness on the Eastern Cape