World Veterinary Day
The World Veterinary Association (WVA) celebrates April 27 as World Veterinary Day.
This year, the theme is “The Value of Vaccination.” In part it is to counter the anti-vaxxer movement. WVA isn’t alone; the World Health Organization is also stepping up to counter misinformation regarding the notion that vaccines create all sorts of medical problems.
As a result of this anti-vaxxer movement, more disease is being seen in human health, as well animal health. Not only do individuals suffer, but the community at large does as well.
In the U.S., there are nearly 60,000 veterinarians. While most vets work to help support health care for our pets, there are plenty of other occupations in the field. For starters, it’s veterinarians who maintain food safety for all of us who happen to eat. Veterinarians are on the forefront of public health. As one example (and there are so many examples), it’s veterinarians who first figured out what was happening to people regarding the zika virus. Veterinarians (for several years) have been paying attention to how canine infection from tick diseases is a sentinel for people. Of course, veterinarians care for captive zoo, farm, lab animals, and even animals in the wild. For example, the Gorilla Doctors of the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project are greatly responsible for caring for injured and ill endangered mountain and eastern lowland (or Grauer’s) gorillas in their African homes through life-saving veterinary medicine and a One Health approach. Also, of course, veterinarians are on the front lines to support the human-animal bond.
The WVA created World Veterinary Day in 2000 as an annual celebration of the veterinary profession, falling on the last Saturday of April. This year, the WVA has partnered with Health for Animals, the global animal medicines association, on the World Veterinary Day Award, which honors one WVA member’s activities related to the theme.
In 2018, the theme of World Veterinary Day was “The role of the veterinary profession in sustainable development to improve livelihoods, food security, and safety.” The Uganda Veterinary Association won the 2018 World Veterinary Day Award for providing visibility to the theme through supporting public awareness, free services farm-based training.