European vets are gearing up for their first veterinary week, which will be held from 10-16 November in various locations across Europe. This is a joint initiative organised by the European Commission and the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE). The organising team is also supported by an advisory group of stakeholders (farmers’ organizations, industry and other stakeholders) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). The initiative is aimed at promoting the Community Animal Health Strategy, "Prevention is better than cure", as well as the "One Health" concept. It will also focus on biosecurity, and in particular biosecurity on farms and at country borders.
European veterinary week will commence on Monday 10 November with a high level conference in Brussels, Belgium, entitled "One Health: Healthy Animals = Healthy People". This event aims to stimulate discussions on successful dissemination of information and cooperation between various players in the field of animal health in order to implement effective biosecurity measures, both on farms and at country borders. The positive impact of high standards of animal health on human health will also be discussed. Panel discussions will focus on import controls, on-farm biosecurity and the "One Health" concept. Participants will include member country veterinary experts, animal health stakeholders, customs officials, representatives from Parliament and Council, and all relevant Commission services.
On Friday 14 November, another event will be held at EuroTier, in Hanover, Germany, one of the main animal trade shows in Europe. This event will coincide with the meeting of the FVE General Assembly, where some 800 veterinarians from across Europe are expected to attend. Specific topics to be raised are the new animal health strategy and what it means to veterinary practitioners, as well as the importance of a strong veterinary network and how to translate policy into action.
Several events at national level are also planned as well as a European road show to spread the message of the two main themes of the veterinary week, "One Health" and "Prevention Is Better than Cure", at veterinary conferences, agriculture fairs and exhibitions. In addition, a specific web site for the European veterinary week is under construction, and once completed it will be available in all official languages of the EU.
The “Prevention is better than cure” theme reflects the shift in emphasis from disease control to prevention of animal health problems before they occur. In this context, adequate monitoring and surveillance systems, as well as improved biosecurity are considered as crucial.
"One Health" is the other main theme of the European veterinary week. Strong relationships between animal health and public health and between animal welfare and animal health have been recognised for many years and it is clear that these can be effectively promoted only in combination. According to anecdotal evidence some 60% of infections in humans and over 75% of emerging diseases originate from animals, underscoring the need for closer cooperation between veterinarians and physicians. The convergence of animal, human and ecosystem health dictates that the "One Health" concept is embraced, to establish a coordinated mechanism to facilitate communication, collaboration and cooperation among veterinarians, physicians and other health professionals, academia, government agencies and industries.
The CAB Abstracts Database records the world's veterinary research and provides a wealth of information on “One Health” and Disease Prevention, two main themes that will be explored during the European veterinary week.