The Hellenic Companion Animal Veterinary Society (HCAVS) was founded in 2009 and is the only veterinary society in Greece dedicated to companion animal medicine. Its membership is growing fast. In 2010 it had just 150 members. Today it has 1,150! HCAVS was accepted as a full member of the WSAVA, at the Assembly member meeting of 2015 in Bangkok, Thailand. Dr Ben Albalas, HCAVS’s Vice-President and national representative to the WSAVA, introduces it:
What is HCAVS’s vision?
We aim to:
- Provide the best scientific knowledge and training to our members and vet students in general and assist them to fulfil their professional goals
- Promote animal welfare in Hellenic society and to help our members educate the public on the benefits of responsible animal ownership
- To support research studies in Hellenic Veterinary Schools and publicize scientific advancements for the progression of small animal medicine
- By being part of the global veterinary community, we hope to give our members the opportunity to participate in scientific events worldwide and to benefit from the exchange of scientific knowledge
We run an annual three-day congress called Forum, which is hosted alternately in Athens and Thessaloniki and we also run a range of regional CE courses. We publish the only Greek scientific veterinary journal which focuses exclusively on companion animal medicine – the ‘Hellenic Journal of Companion Animal Medicine’.
Educating veterinarians who work with companion animals - and through them the general public - is a key issue for HCAVS, especially as Greece is experiencing difficult economic times. This affects living standards and has had an adverse effect on responsible pet ownership and animal welfare. We feel it is important to maintain scientific training for our members at all costs. To support them, we have taken out a subscription to Vetlexicon Canis and Felis at a nominal fee through HCAVS’s cooperation with Vetstream, the WSAVA’s Educational Partner.
What support do you offer to your members and what issues in Greece are you most focused on helping to resolve at the moment?
We keep our members up to date on key issues through our website, journal, social media and events. We prepare a free monthly newsletter with information which includes WSAVA events and also link to the WSAVA’s monthly Bulletin.
What are the highlights of 2018 so far?
Our major scientific event, the 9th Veterinary Forum on Companion Animal Medicine, took place in March in Thessaloniki and was a great success. Professor Kenneth William Simpson, generously sponsored by NAVC in collaboration with WSAVA, was the keynote speaker. He focused on the Congress theme: ‘Gastroenterology: from internal medicine and endoscopy to surgery’ and was enthusiastically received. We have also run three regional courses and are planning two more, including our Autumn seminar on feline surgery.
During 2019, we will celebrate our tenth anniversary - and a decade of commitment and contribution to the Greek companion animal medical field. The 10th Veterinary Forum on Companion Animal Medicine will be a celebration and a milestone!
How do you see your relationship with the WSAVA and why is membership of the WSAVA important?
Through the WSAVA, our members are part of the veterinary global family. They have the opportunity to participate in scientific events worldwide and to benefit from the exchange of scientific knowledge. Our members also help to deliver the WSAVA’s global mission and spread its message across Greece.