Celebrating veterinarians ahead of World Vet Day

The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is celebrating veterinarians around the country ahead of World Veterinary Day on 27 April.

World Veterinary Day is an opportunity to continue to recognise the work, contribution, value, and resilience of veterinarians throughout our country.

Dr Diana Barker, President of the AVA, highlighted that veterinarians are essential health workers who provide an essential service to the community.

Vets often work through gruelling conditions. They work with individual animals and their owners, assist in, or manage emergency responses and perform public health roles to benefit the broader community.

“Our veterinarians are always there for the community,” said Dr Barker. “They respond to overnight emergencies, support clients coping with the loss of their pets, and engage in various other roles. These include scientific research, biosecurity, food security, One Health, human-animal interactions, animal welfare, infectious disease control, and policy fields.”

Similar to human health, the community expects the veterinary profession to provide services for private (individual) benefit and also deliver services that benefit the public. This aspect of a vet’s work, often invisible to society, is crucial. Protecting and improving the health of people and their communities is an essential part of the veterinary profession and a core component of One Health.

Animals are deeply embedded into the Australian way of life socially, culturally, and economically. Around 69 per cent of Australian households have pets, that’s 16.64 million people living with pets. The combined annual revenue of the livestock, racing, and pet industries is $105 billion per annum.

Through AVA’s strong advocacy work, veterinarians were formally recognised as essential health workers alongside human health workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, a testament to their invaluable contribution to society.

“It’s obvious that veterinarians are vital members of communities worldwide,” commented Dr Barker.

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