WORLD VETERINARY DAY
Dr. FAROOZ AHMAD LONE & DR. DANISH RASHID
The World Veterinary Day is an annual event celebrated across the world on last Saturday of April every year with different themes. The theme of this year World Veterinary Day, 2023 is “Promoting Diversity, Equity and Inclusiveness in Veterinary profession” and will be observed on 29th of April, 2023. This event has been established to raise awareness regarding pivotal role and efforts of the veterinarians, veterinary associations and others in animal welfare, animal health and public health and to advocate for fairness and equity. This is also a valuable opportunity to acknowledge and appreciate their significant contribution in society by addressing animal welfare issues, sustainable agriculture practices, environmental and biodiversity protection. SKUAST-Kashmir is also celebrating this event in the honour of veterinarians and to promote awareness among the young minds of local schools.
Back in 1863, in Hamburg (Germany), Professor John Gamgee from Edinburgh led the first International Veterinary Congress meeting and established World Veterinary Congress. To function as an organizational link between congresses in the 8th World Veterinary Congress, a ‘Permanent Committee’ was created. In 1959, in Madrid, Spain, during the 15th Congress in Stockholm, the world witnessed the foundation of the World Veterinary Association (WVA).World Veterinary Day was first celebrated as an initiative by The World Veterinary Association (WVA) on April 29, 2000. Since then, it has been observed annually on the last Saturday of April, to highlight a specific aspect of veterinary medicine with a different theme chosen each year.Veterinarians play a multifaceted and pivotal role in diverse settings. They work to ensure the welfare of animals at diverse habitat including farms, zoos, and wildlife habitats. Vets contribute in environmental protection and sustainability other than providing animal and public health and well-being of animals.It is pertinent to mention here that they have immense contribution in protection of biodiversity and conservation of endangered species, hence role in ecological sustainability by working with conservation organizations and wildlife management agencies.
Veterinarians are helping to create a more sustainable future for all of us by addressing animal welfare issues and promoting sustainable agriculture practices by creating awareness to the farmers at far flung area at their door steps regarding scientific and economical rearing of livestock, managemental practices, role of timely vaccination and deworming, scientific feeding and balanced ration formulation, breed improvement and by providing artificial insemination facilities, treatment and prevention of diseases. They also act as extension officer to disseminate information regarding different central and state/UT related schemes to improve socio- economic status of the farmers.The well-being of all veterinarians is enhanced when diversity, equity, and inclusiveness are promoted and applied, according to the announcement for World Veterinary Day 2023.“Removing barriers and improving inclusiveness through diversity, equity, and inclusiveness policies and practices in a diverse world needs a special focus in all areas,” according to this year’s award announcements”.The announcement continues, “Embracing the differences means respecting and recognizing everyone, feeling safe, heard, and valued no matter the age, class, ethnicity, gender, health, physical and mental ability, race, sexual orientation, religion, physical size, education level, job level and function, personality traits, or other differences.”
The WVA presents the World Veterinary Day Awards to honour individuals or organizations that have made significant contributions in animal health, welfare, and public health in order to evoke enthusiasm among the young generations to take the veterinary science as their career option and also help to increase the number of vets in the country. The contribution of veterinarians should be recognized and acknowledged regarding environmental protection and sustainability, conservation and protecting biodiversity which is critical to the health of our planet.
(Dr. Farooz Ahmad Lone is Sr. Assistant Professor, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences & Animal Husbandry, SKUAST-Kashmir. Email ID: firstname.lastname@example.org. Dr. Danish Rashid is Veterinary Assistant Surgeon, Animal Husbandry Department, Kashmir)