Over a hundred and fifty years ago, Dr. J. Gamgee assembled the first International Veterinary Congress. That initiative, started in 1863, has grown into the modern World Veterinary Association. The World Veterinary Association represents veterinary professionals and associations from all over the globe, acting as an umbrella organization for National and International veterinary associations that cover all areas of veterinary medicine. Its mission is “To assure and promote animal health and welfare and public health globally, through developing and advancing veterinary medicine, the veterinary profession as well as public and private veterinary services.” The WVA continues the legacy of Dr. Gamgee in bringing veterinarians from all over the world together, to exchange ideas and experiences, and join forces to promote and develop the field of veterinary medicine as a global community.
The WVA partners with international associations such as OIE, WHO, FAO, WMA, WSPA, IDF and WFO on various veterinary issues related to Animal Health and Welfare, Public Health and Food Safety. Veterinary medicine is a global matter, and it is crucial for disease prevention and control, food safety and security, animal welfare and the advancement of animal health that we continue to work together to create a strong global veterinary community with well-functioning veterinary services across the world to meet the needs of our global society.
World Veterinary Day was created by the WVA as a day to celebrate and highlight the work veterinarians do around the world. When thinking about your local veterinarian and animal health clinic, you may not always consider their connection to the larger global veterinary community; but your vet is likely a member of a national or international association under the umbrella of the WVA, and thus their small practice in your hometown is still an integral part of a much wider global animal health community, with a larger reach and impact than you may realize. For that, all veterinarians should be recognized for doing their part to contribute to the advancement of international veterinary medicine and animal health. So next time you see you vet, remember to say Thank You!