In 1959, small animal veterinarians from 10 countries in Europe & North America1 met on the sidelines of the WVA Congress in Madrid. This meeting generated the international group that was to become the World Small Animal Veterinary Association. This year, 2019, we celebrate our Diamond Anniversary, 60 years of our WSAVA global community, which now consists of 110 member associations, representing more than 200,000 individual companion animal veterinarians and veterinary nurses. WSAVA’s growth has mirrored the global development of companion animal practice, but our relevance to companion animal practitioners is the result of the dedicated work of our clinical Committees to support our members with scientifically-based advice, resources, continuing education (CE), including, of course, our annual World Congress, which unites our members in learning and friendship.
I was privileged to be elected WSAVA President in September 2018 – a year in which we continued to show international leadership through initiatives such as our campaign to secure equal access to veterinary therapeutics globally; our new Global Animal Welfare Guidelines; and our Position Paper on reducing hereditary disease through genetic testing and healthy breeding practices. This information is all freely available on the WSAVA website. I thank the Committees involved for their important contributions, and I know that, in common with our other Committees, they have much more planned for 2019.
During my presidency, I will work to ensure that our Executive Board and Clinical Committees are accessible to our members at large and focused on providing the resources needed to support you in practice. I will also ensure that we continue to advocate on the most challenging issues affecting you. Please contact me if you would like to discuss any aspect of our work, if you have ideas to put forward or if you would like to become more actively involved. In the meantime, I would like to thank all those who contribute to the WSAVA – the expert volunteers who sit on our Committees, the Executive Board, our Member Representatives from all corners of the world and, of course, our generous industry partners, without whose support much of our work would not be possible.
I’m proud to lead such a dynamic and supportive community and believe 2019 will be another ground-breaking year as we celebrate our first 60 years and continue to lead the way in developing companion animal veterinary practice around the world. I wish you and your family a very Happy New Year and hope that, during 2019, you will enjoy the benefits of true global collaboration and friendship through your membership of the WSAVA.
1Denmark, France, Holland, Italy, Germany, Mexico, Norway, Portugal, United Kingdom and the United States