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A New Year Message from WSAVA President, Dr Shane Ryan

Published: 1/8/2020

He reflects on the highlights of 2019 and looks ahead to what this year has in store  for our global veterinary community.

In 2019, WSAVA celebrated our diamond jubilee - our 60th year – and a busy and productive year it was!
Our annual World Congress in Toronto (thank you CVMA!) built on the success of previous meetings and our Clinical Committees launched a range of new initiatives designed to help practitioners and advocate for the veterinary profession globally.  Our WSAVA family also expanded with a number of new associations joining as members.  We are now proud to represent 113 veterinary associations with a combined membership of more than 200,000 veterinary professionals.
Here are just some of the achievements of our Clinical Committees during 2019:
  • Our Professional Wellness Group (PWG) announced its preliminary analysis of survey results into global veterinary wellness at World Congress. Though the PWG, the WSAVA has, for the first time, highlighted veterinary wellness as an issue of global significance
  • Our One Health Committee launched a new Certificate course intended to bridge the knowledge gap surrounding the role of companion animals in the One Health space. This RACE-accredited Certificate course is intended for veterinary practitioners and human physicians and is free to WSAVA members
  • An exciting program was initiated by our Global Pain Council (GPC). Its ‘Teach the Teachers’  project will create a global network of key opinion leaders in pain management.  It is the next step in the GPC’s campaign to enhance companion animal health care and welfare globally by increasing the confidence and competence of veterinary professionals in managing their patients’ pain. 
  • Our Therapeutics Guidelines Group continued to unite the animal health sector in campaigning to ensure that veterinarians globally have access to the medicines they need to provide high standards of patient care and safeguard animal welfare. You’ll be hearing much more from them in 2020.
At the 2019 World Congress, we said farewell to Dr Nicola Neumann, a key member of our Executive Board for the past six years.  Nicola made a huge contribution to WSAVA, in particular in the development of the World Congress.  Thank you, Nicola for your commitment and dedication to the association.  We were also delighted to welcome our new board member from Portugal, Dr Felisbina Queiroga.  She is a great addition to the team. 
I would personally like to thank everyone who worked so hard to support our work during 2019 - our board and secretariat, our volunteers and members all.  I would particularly like to take this opportunity to  acknowledge and thank our Diamond Partners, Mars Petcare and Purina Institute and our Gold Partners, Hill’s Pet Nutrition and MSD Animal Health. 
Looking to the future, our Clinical and Standing Committees have much planned for the year ahead  and the program for the 2020 World Congress in Warsaw, Poland, is coming together well.  We are looking forward to another exciting and action-packed year.
I wish everyone a happy, peaceful and successful 2020 and hope to see many of you at our next meeting in Warsaw in September.