The second World Conference on Veterinary Education took place May 13 to 15 and focused on animal welfare and the competencies graduating veterinarians should achieve regardless of their location and training.The second World Conference on Veterinary Education took place May 13 to 15 and focused on animal welfare and the competencies graduating veterinarians should achieve regardless of their location and training.
More than 250 people from veterinary faculties around the world, as well as students and industry representatives, gathered in Lyon, France.
“Vets can have a direct impact on the attitudes and behaviors of the general public towards animals as advisers to owners as well as to governments and corporations,” said Ruth De Vere, head of education at the World Society for the Protection of Animals International (WSPA). “After this conference, where the world’s veterinary elite came together globally, I am hopeful that animal welfare will become an integral part of veterinary training.”
The WSPA praised a World Animal Health Organization (OIE) committee for helping recommend basic standards for all graduating veterinarians and including animal welfare as a fundamental element of a veterinary curriculum. The recommendations are subject to the approval of the OIE General Assembly.
“Veterinary education is not adapted to today’s challenges," said Dr. Monique Eloit, deputy director general of the OIE. "It must evolve to satisfy the expectations of society with regard to animal and human health and take account of animal welfare.”
The fact that animal welfare is largely absent from veterinary education, especially in developing nations, was highlighted by Dr. Daniel Ventura, president of the Philippine Veterinary Medical Association and the Philippine Association of Veterinary Medicine and Schools.
Another point raised at the conference was the need for a global body representing veterinary educators. Government veterinarians and veterinary professionals have such a platform.