37th World Veterinary Association Congress, March 29-31, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
The congress drew 839 delegates in person and 181 delegates virtually, representing 27 countries. The main themes of the congress were clinical veterinary therapy, veterinary public health, animal welfare, and technologies and innovations. The congress also addressed the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on all areas of work and life, including veterinary medicine. Featuring more than 100 educational workshops and lectures, the conference provided an opportunity for the public and students in the UAE to be introduced to veterinary medicine and its importance. Lecture topics included animal welfare, epidemiology, food safety, camelids, veterinary education, wildlife conservation, the latest technologies, and one health. Seminars held were the 8th WVA Global One Health Summit, the WVA Animal Welfare Seminar on Pain Management in Livestock, and the WVA Veterinary Education Seminar on Global Quality Standards for Veterinary Education. This year’s theme for the WVA Global One Health Summit was “The Role of Private Public Partnership in Preventing the Next Pandemic.” Also on offer was an exhibition featuring veterinary companies, universities, and government agencies.
Animal Welfare Award for Veterinarian from Africa
Dr. Caryn Rademeyer, Johannesburg, South Africa. In 2003, Dr. Rademeyer founded Hilltops Veterinary Clinic in Johannesburg. Dr. Rademeyer has devoted much of her career to animal welfare education and has worked with the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals in Soweto, a township of Johannesburg, and volunteered at the Highveld Horse Care Unit, an equine welfare organization in Meyerton, South Africa. Dr. Rademeyer also serves as veterinarian for the Johannesburg Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Animal Welfare Award for Veterinarian from Asia and Oceania
Dr. Vijitha Perera, Udawalawe, Sri Lanka. Dr. Perera serves as a wildlife veterinarian with the Sri Lankan Department of Wildlife Conservation. In his role, Dr. Perera mitigates human-animal conflict, monitors migratory species, and is involved with disease surveillance and the treatment of wild animals. He is known for his expertise in the health management of free-ranging elephants and in the rehabilitation of orphan elephant calves and other wildlife. Dr. Perera authored the book “Living with Wild Elephants: Experiences of a Wildlife Veterinarian in Sri Lanka.”
Animal Welfare Award for Veterinarian from Europe
Dr. Axel Kornerup Hansen, Copenhagen, Denmark. Dr. Hansen serves as a professor of laboratory animal science and welfare at the University of Copenhagen School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science. Dr. Hansen’s work focuses on the care of laboratory animals, including housing and handling. He is a charter diplomate of the European College of Laboratory Animal Medicine.
Animal Welfare Award for Veterinarian from Latin America
Dr. Juan C. Carrascal, Córdoba, Colombia. Dr. Carrascal is a professor at the University of Córdoba Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Monteria. He serves as coordinator for One Health Columbia, aiming to unify human, animal, and ecosystem well-being. Known for his work in animal health and ethology, Dr. Carrascal was recognized for the outreach work he does via the One Health Colombia initiative in the community.
Animal Welfare Award for Veterinarian from the Middle East
Dr. Wadima Matar Al Dhaheri, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Dr. Al Dhaheri is a veterinarian at the Dubai Safari Park. She began her career working with companion animals at the Dubai Municipality Veterinary Section. An advocate for animal welfare, she has been active with several governmental organizations, assisting stray, abandoned, and injured animals in the UAE. In 2018, she volunteered for the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Somalia, providing care for orphaned cheetah cubs.
Animal Welfare Award for Veterinarian from North America
Dr. Jimmy Tickel, College Station, Texas. Dr. Tickel is a veterinarian at Texas A&M University’s Institute for Infectious Animal Diseases, where he serves as a resource on livestock emergency management. He is known for his expertise on issues related to disease and disaster mitigation, prevention, and response on a national and international level. Dr. Tickel previously worked for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, where he was incident commander and operations section chief for the Emergency Programs Division.
Animal Welfare Award for a Student
Dr. Ana Pascaud, Nantes, France. Dr. Pascaud received her veterinary degree from Nantes-Atlantic National College of Veterinary Medicine, Food Science, and Engineering. While a veterinary student, she designed an application to monitor the health and welfare of dolphins at the Planète Sauvage zoological park in Nantes.
Animal Welfare Award for Veterinary Nurse
Debbie Whitten, Birmingham, Alabama. A licensed veterinary technician, Whitten is a research assistant in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. From 2011-17, she served on the AVMA Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities.
Animal Welfare Award to a Veterinary School
University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Hanover, Germany. A pioneer in animal welfare and research, the university has been a leader in the development of alternative and complementary methods to animal experimentation, establishing the first national center for this discipline in 2009.
In the past year, the council focused mainly on improving communications and collaborations during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, implementing the WVA Strategic Plan 2020-25, developing a new website, reviewing the organization’s regional structure, planning WVAC 2022, and exploring future secretariat services. The association also joined the Action for Animal Health coalition, which provides recommendations to the United Nations Global Pandemic Treaty.
Drs. Rafael Laguens, Soria, Spain, president; John de Jong, Weston, Massachusetts, president-elect; Patricia Turner, Guelph, Ontario, immediate past president; and councilors—Drs. Shannon Mesenhowski, Bainbridge Island, Washington; Enid Stiles, Montreal; Heidi Kellokoski-Kiiskinen, Vuostimo, Finland; Slaven Grbić, Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Roula Shaaban, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Salah Al-Shami, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Arturo Carlos Mejorada Porras, Mexico City; Helio Blume, Brasilia, Brazil; James Ouma, Nairobi, Kenya; Cynthia Charlotte Nkuna, Mooikloof, South Africa; Chou Chin-Cheng, Taipei, Taiwan; Ganokon Urkasemsin, Salaya, Thailand; Olatunji Nasir, Lagos, Nigeria; and Wanyong “William” Pang, Beijing