The Society of Companion Animal Practitioners of Sri Lanka (SCAP) represents the countries companion animal veterinarians and joined the WSAVA as a full member in 2015. Its President, Dr Mayuri Thammitiyagodage, tells us more:
Could you introduce SCAP briefly to our members?
SCAP is dedicated to promoting Continual Professional Development (CPD) programs to its members at a national and international level. In addition, SCAP gets involved with many issues relating to animal welfare and to the veterinary profession.
How many members do you have and what is your mission?
We have 50 members currently and aim to bring our country’s companion animal practitioners up to international standards by taking advantage of the latest technology available across the globe.
What particular challenges do companion animal veterinarians face in Sri Lanka?
Companion animal practitioners in Sri Lanka currently face many challenges. The most important is the lack of recognition given to them, compared to their colleagues in the large animal sector which stems from the fact that we are still primarily a country whose economy is based on agriculture. We are also challenged by a lack of clinical expertise in small animal veterinary medicine.
Are you running any particular initiatives or campaigns at the moment?
We are campaigning to earn recognition for the companion animal veterinary sector and we are also active on animal welfare issues, including the humane control of rabies and the role of companion animal veterinarians in driving improvements in animal welfare, including in a current animal welfare bill being considered by our government.
Two of our members, Dr Nalanika Obeysekera and Dr Ganga De Silva, are active in rabies control through Blue Paw Trust, a charity that provides free or low cost spay/neuter programs and other canine population control services to support the eradication of rabies from Sri Lanka. In 2015, Dr Obeyesekere received the WSAVA Global One Health Award in recognition of the Blue Paw Trust’s work, including a project to eliminate human and canine rabies from the capital city, Colombo.
Why did you join the WSAVA and how does membership help your members?
We joined the WSAVA to secure international support to develop and to ensure that we are recognized as an independent association with global backing. We believe that the WSAVA’s support will be instrumental in helping us to achieve our goals. The WSAVA supports us in many ways, including helping us to organize CE workshops.