Henry Schein, Inc., has joined the World Veterinary Association (WVA) to celebrate World Veterinary Day, which recognizes the critical role veterinarians play in protecting animal and human health. World Veterinary Day is celebrated annually on the last Saturday of April.
This year on April 30, the WVA will celebrate World Veterinary Day through the promotion of the One Health Concept. According to the WVA, the One Health Concept recognizes that the health and wellbeing of animals, humans, and the ecosystem are interconnected, and depend on effective and sustained collaboration between varied professions and disciplines—both animal and human-focused—in the public and private sectors.
"On World Veterinary Day, we honor these dedicated professionals for all that they do in service to the world's animals, and increasingly, its human population as well," said Dr. René Carlson, president of the WVA. "In an ever-shrinking world, the importance and impact of veterinarians will only grow as high-density populations, climate change, and an increasing proximity and affection between people and animals present unique and increasingly important health challenges. The WVA is committed to working with partners around the world to improve the health and welfare of animals, humans, and the ecosystem we share."
Veterinarians contribute to the One Health mission in many ways, including:
- Enhancing the health and welfare of animals through treatment and prevention of diseases, and promotion of animals' physical and mental wellbeing;
- Enhancing the health of people through detection and prevention of zoonotic diseases—diseases that can be passed between animals and humans (e.g., rabies, lyme disease, and West Nile virus);
- Ensuring sufficient food and safer animal products for human consumption; and
- Demonstrating effective stewardship in the use of antimicrobials, such as antibiotics, and thus ensuring their effectiveness in both animal and human medical practice.
"It is no secret that proper veterinary care is vital to maintaining an animal's health, but it is also important to recognize that veterinarians are often the first line of defense in protecting human populations from a range of deadly zoonotic diseases that can devastate lives and do irreparable harm to communities throughout the world," said Stanley M. Bergman, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Henry Schein, Inc. "We at Henry Schein are very pleased to join with the WVA in celebrating World Veterinary Day and to honor veterinarians for their dedication to pets, livestock, wildlife, and the advancement of the essential One Health Concept."
In celebration of World Veterinary Day and its 2016 theme of the importance continuing education plays in enhancing its members' skills and expertise, the WVA is partnering with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) to present the World Veterinary Day Award 2016 for the most successful contribution by the veterinary profession on this year's theme: Continuing Education with a One Health Focus. The award will be given to the veterinary association whose continuing education projects and activities best promote and implement the One Health approach.