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Our History

We were created in 1961, following a decision by the then International Association of Small Animal Specialists (IASAS) to rename itself as the World Small Animal Veterinary Association.  Today with have 113 veterinary association members globally and represent more than 200,000 companion animal veterinarians.

Initial progress was slow but, with each World Congress, more associations joined, attendance increased, and the committees became more effective. The Journal of Small Animal Practice, which had become the WSAVA's official publication, helped to share information between countries.

60 years of WSAVA

This year, is the WSAVA's 60th birthday. Throughout the year, we will share photos and memories of the past 60 years with you. At the end of the year, all will be compiled in a 60th Anniversary Booklet. 


View the WSAVA 50th Anniversary Booklet: 1959-2009 (PDF).

Read more on Our History (PDF).

Photo Contest
Do you have any photos or memories you'd like to share? Send them to or post them on Social Media with #WSAVA60years and tag the WSAVA. All photos will enter a prize draw for 1 free registration for the WSAVA World Congress 2020 What kind of photos or memories are we looking for? Any photos of WSAVA events, congresses, activities or our members are welcome, whether they were taken 2 years or 25 years ago. 


Key Milestones

  • Our first World Congress was held in London in 1961.
  • Our first collaboration between the WSAVA and World Health Organization took place in 1980.
  • World Congresses have been annual events since 1984, with membership rules being amended to enable specialist associations to become affiliate members.
  • The WSAVA Continuing Education Committee was formed in 1992.
  • Many of our remaining committees were formed in the early 2000's, along with Hill's Pet Nutrition forming a partnership with the WSAVA.
  • Our charitable trust, the WSAVA Foundation was created in 2011.
  • Read More on our Key Milestones (PDF).

WSAVA Past Presidents

  • 2016-2018: Dr. Walt Ingwersen.
  • 2013-2016: Prof. Colin Burrows.
  • 2012-2013: Prof. Jolle Kirpensteijn.
  • 2012: Prof. Peter Ihrke (resigned due to illness).
  • 2010-2012: Prof. Jolle Kirpensteijn.
  • 2008-2010: Dr. David Wadsworth.
  • 2006-2008: Dr. Brian Romberg.
  • 2004-2006: Dr. Larry Dee.
  • 2002-2004: Dr. Gabriel Varga.
  • 2000-2002: Dr. Claudio Brovida.
  • 1998-2000: Dr. Klaus Dreier.
  • 1996-1998: Dr. W F Jackson.
  • 1994-1996: Prof. Peter Bedford.
  • 1992-1994: Prof. Akira Takeuchi.
  • 1990-1992: Dr. Andrew Edney.
  • 1988-1990: Dr. Jacques Drape.
  • 1986-1988: Dr. John Holt.
  • 1984-1986: Dr H-O Schmidtke.
  • 1982-1984: Prof. Carl Osborne.
  • 1980-1982: Dr. Luis Pomar.
  • 1979-1980: Dr. Jan Gajentaan.
  • 1977-1979: Dr. Saki Paatsama.
  • 1975-1977: Dr. W Brian Singleton.
  • 1973-1975: Dr. Leone Taglia.
  • 1971-1973: Dr. William G Magrane.
  • 1969-1971: Dr. M A J Verwer.
  • 1967-1969: Dr. Jean A Meynard.
  • 1965-1967: Prof. R Volker.
  • 1963-1965: Dr. Halfden Moltzen.
  • 1959-1963: Dr. Wayne Riser.

List of Congresses

  • 2017: Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 2016: Cartagena, Colombia.
  • 2015: Bangkok, Thailand.
  • 2014: Cape Town, South Africa.
  • 2013: Auckland, New Zealand.
  • 2012: Birmingham, UK.
  • Read More on Congresses (PDF).