World Veterinary Day, which falls on April 28, expresses a unity among all health care providers, according to Roger Mahr, DVM, president of the American Veterinary Medical Assn.
He said that World Veterinary Day provides a great platform to talk about the “one world, one health, one medicine” initiative, which calls for all health sciences professionals, the health sciences colleges and schools—including veterinary schools and human medical colleges—health sciences associations, government agencies and related industries to coordinate efforts on a global basis to combat disease and promote health.
“When you consider the fact that in the last year at least 21 billion animals were produced for food and fiber throughout the world, and that in the United States 38,000 animals cross the U.S. border every day and 75 percent of all emerging diseases in the last 20 years are zoonotic, these facts indicate that animal health is truly at a crossroad,” Dr. Mahr said. “The convergence of animal health, human health and ecosystem health dictates that a one world, one health, one medicine concept be embraced.”
Leon Russell, DVM, president of the World Veterinary Assn. is encouraging practitioners to host an open house, visit school programs and make time to showcase how diverse veterinarians are as a profession.
“It is our opportunity to educate the global society about how veterinarians care for every aspect of the animal kingdom,” Dr. Russell said. “Not everyone knows that members of our profession are in Asia combating avian influenza and working to help make sure as it does not become a pandemic. Veterinary researchers around the world are investigating clues to unlocking the secret to various diseases in human and animal health and right here at home, veterinarians are protecting our country from bio and agro-terrorism.”