Information about our vet world on the Balkans
Vet Business Academy, an amazing association, open to give us the knowledge and help us to make our life better
We are really happy that more and more veterinarians are aware of the needing, to improve our knowledge in a field that is really far of our medical way of thinking, because if we are aware or not, we are managers of our own business. So, we should be open and to start learning how to improve this field.
And we are lucky because we have the sources and the people who can teach us.
One of these opportunities is Vet Business Academy, an amazing association, open to give us the knowledge and help us to make our life better.
VET BUSINESS ACADEMY
- What is our desire?
- Create a vet business community and provide access to business education.
- Provide knowledge and increase vets’ competencies in areas like:
- People management, Communication, Marketing-merchandising, Financial knowledge.
- Improve vet the efficiency of vet clinics by providing better services to clients and improving internal processes.
- Training and workshops to improve vet competencies in business areas.
- Vet consultancy in the business field.
Why us and why now?
- Practical experience in vet clinic management
- Experience in vet industry , local and international.
- Experience in fields like: marketing, communication, planning, business administration and people management.
- Good relationship with KOLs, Universities and local authorities.
- Knowledge of vet legislation and experience in the prediction of future vet business trends.
- Coaching, Leadership, Critical thinking.
- Become more than a Vet clinic
- Provide a consultative relationship model
- Build effective TEAM
- Become preferred Vet Clinic for Vets & Pet-Owner’s
- Differentiate in a crowded market
In 2018 the association has organized plenty of events in Romania.
- Workshops : Communication , People Management, Merchandising , Financial intelligence
- Class – “Mastering Public Speaking”
- Management presentations on AMVAC Congress –Dr.Lowell Ackerman
- Provide the management string in different vet events
If we realize or not, we are part of the economically world, we sale service and together with our love to the animals and our professional, we are responsible about our employers, for their financial comfort and work environment. So, it is time to start learning to be good in this as well
- Hi Luba,
I have followed your journal for a long time, and I sincerely enjoy your success. Hope there are more people like you, radiant and dedicated to your profession.
Your question, “What would make your work easier and what do you need to work with pleasure?” I would answer so …
Our profession is wonderful, our patients too, but we also work with people. For this reason, my answer is exactly the same … people. In my opinion, working atmosphere, our colleagues, our attitude towards each other is very important. Our work is tense and responsible and our day would be lighter if there are more smiles, jokes and teas, mutual help and respect among colleagues.
I will be glad if I can contribute at least a little bit, in order to be more creative, fruitful and happy at my workplace.
- Regarding this issue I think we should look from 2 points of view. From my opinion going to work has always been a pleasure in the last 10 years because passion was my motivation but with the passing of time I understood it is the most important to work in an environment that makes you feel at home because all of us spend more time at work than at home with our families. So the work team need to be united and lead by a leader that work side by side with his employees and motivates each of the members by having a nice attitude and giving money reward when needed.On another hand this job would be perfect if the people’s culture regarding the PET industry will grow somehow in a way more responsible, to give more respect to the medical team, to stop treating us like garbage, to stop asking Dr.Google and to be more aware of what means raising a dog or a cat but that will only happen in another world.
In conclusion I think passion and hard work are the success key in this field.
- I would do it more easily if I didn’t waste my energy on unnecessary things, if I had the understanding and appreciation of my colleagues, encouraging of my mentor, if we stop complaining for things that are difficult to solve or things that don’t work and see all like challenges, replace with the appreciation of things that work, complain but with a good optimist conclusion, make a effort to have good mood and positive energy maybe we can inspire all the team
- The team is most important and the attitude to owners!
- THE TEAM!
- The team is very important! And a boss who trusts you.
So, veterinarians from The Balkans are searching a team, good envoirment for work. Noone spoke about payment, schedule and so on.
I would like to ask every single vet to think with heart and see what we all can do, to work in a good envoirment, to trust more our colleagues and just to be kind. I would like to ask all the leaders to think how they can improve the good envoirment in their own clinic, how to create a TEAM , not just couple of vets in one place. As a vets, we would not see our colleagues as a competition, we should see them as a help and support. We are the first once who should respect our job between us and then to expect this from the owners
I work with them from 3 years and a half. I am one of them. Being very close to them, help me to see how amazing we are. In the region, economically depresses area with many political and administrative complications, working with clients, who don’t have the possibility to pay high level of medicine, we can see them…. Working hard with so much passion and willing to do their best. They have the hugest willing to grow and improve their knowledge, all the time to involve something new in their practice, if spite of, for them is the newest thing and they cant see this new practice in the university, they did not learn this when they were young students.
All of them coming from universities in very low level of education, and when they jump in the practice, all of them are in shock, feeling that they don’t know anything. And all the efforts to learn and be good vet start again, like you have never done before. I will skip the financial part of the efforts before and after the graduation. Because me, as a vet from the Balkans, I even don’t want to calculate how much money I invested in my education and how much money I make per year… .
How much hours per day all of them are working and when they go home, may be start reading and so on. They put 1000 more efforts even to convince the owner to do that examination, compare with vets who practice in countries with better economically environment.
In spite of all these things, I met vets in high professional level, with so much passion and soul full of enthusiasm, doing their best for their patients. I write all these things, because I really appreciate all our efforts and I am so grateful to all the vets from The Balkans, because they give me from their enthusiasm and this is the best feeling ever. This feeling fulfill your heart and you are the happiest person ever. Yes, I have the same difficulties everyday but that feeling is priceless!
Wish all the vets from The Balkans to love themselves more, to appreciate their efforts and job more, to be aware how special they are! Thank you for being part of you!
American physical therapist and Master Yoga teacher Lara Heimann will join veterinary experts from around the world on the speaker panel of VET Festival 2019. The two-day event, now in its fifth year, aims to combine inspiring, world-class CPD for the whole practice team with an outdoor ‘festival’ atmosphere.
Since its inception, the wellbeing of veterinary professionals has been a strong focus of VET Festival and for, 2019, the inclusion of Lara Heimann in the Wellness and Practice Development lecture, takes this to a new level. She is globally recognised for the unique vinyasa yoga style she has developed and regularly leads international retreats and workshops.
Speakers in the comprehensive clinical programme include Dr Antonio Pozzi, Head of the Clinic for Small Animal Surgery at the University of Zurich, Switzerland; Dr Susan Little, co-owner of two feline specialty practices in Ottawa, Canada, and past president of the American Association of Feline Practitioners and Dr Ronaldo da Costa, Professor in Neurology and Neurosurgery at Ohio State University, USA. Other speakers include:
- Veterinary cardiologist Professor John E Rush. A Diplomate of both the American Colleges of Veterinary Internal Medicine and Emergency and Critical Care, Dr Rush has been a professor for 25 years at the Cummings Veterinary Medicine Centre at Tufts University in Massachusetts
- Behaviourist Dr Sarah Heath. A founding Diplomate of the European College of Animal Welfare and Behavioural Medicine
- Soft-tissue surgeon Professor Christopher Adin. Professor Adin is Chair of the University of Florida’s Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences and Associate Professor of Soft Tissue
Veterinary nurses are welcome to attend any of the lectures, in addition to those in the dedicated nursing stream. An exhibition of the latest products and services for all veterinary professionals takes place in a dedicated arena.
Commenting, Nicole Cooper, event director, said: “VET Festival is unique in bringing together cutting-edge, inspirational learning, fun and the great outdoors. CPD from our world-leading speakers is delivered in a high quality and contemporary setting but, once work is done, we encourage delegates to relax and enjoy free admission for them, their friends and family to the VETFest™ Live Party Night.”
She continued: “With the wellness and wellbeing of members of our profession increasingly in the spotlight, we’re delighted to welcome Lara Heimann for 2019 and hope that she will help our delegates to develop practical solutions to living healthier and more balanced lives.
Supported by MWI Animal Health, VET Festival is a family-friendly event, offering a unique Family Hub, in which parents can listen to lectures while their children play safely without disturbing other delegates.
“Balancing work and family life can often be a juggling act,” Alan White Group Commercial Director at MWI Animal Health, said “particularly in the veterinary profession where time is in short supply. This can sometimes compromise the work-life balance of vets, nurses and other team members. At VET Festival, the ‘Family Hub’ means that there is no compromise and that both our attendees and their families can get the best out of their time with us – and ultimately, at MWI Animal Health, that’s what we are all about – supporting vets, veterinary practices and the veterinary profession, so that they can do what they do best – providing care for the nation’s animals.”
Tickets can be purchased here: https://www.vetfestival.co.uk/delegate-info/ticket-information
Veterinary companies retailing or promoting companion animal products, primary care veterinary practices or referral practices interested in exhibitor or sponsorship opportunities are asked to contact Kara Hiscox at KHiscox@fitzallmedia.com
Notes to Editors
For more information about VET Festival, please visit: www.vetfestival.co.uk.
Author: Dr. Lowell Ackerman is a veterinary consultant, lecturer and author. He is editor-in-chief for “Five-Minute Veterinary Practice Management Consult,” and he lectures globally on medicine and management topics.
[© Lowell Ackerman 2019. No part of this material may be reproduced or copied in any manner without express written consent of author. Some of this material has been abstracted from Five-Minute Veterinary Practice Management Consult, 3rd Edition]
For veterinary medicine to provide real value to pet owners and real financial success for veterinarians, there is a need to focus on being proactive, appreciating risk factors, closing compliance gaps and managing through evidence-based guidelines. This is the essence of personalized medicine and an opportunity that veterinarians should embrace.
I define pet-specific care as veterinary care tailored to individual pets based on their risk of disease and their likely response to intervention. It could also be regarded as the right care, for the right pet, at the right time. This is a common sentiment in medicine, and it is known by a variety of other names, including lifelong care, client-centric care, personalized medicine, precision medicine and genomic medicine. At its core, pet-specific care focuses on prevention, early detection and evidence-based management using a pet’s individual risk factors and circumstances to determine the best course of action.
All veterinarians intend to practice the highest quality of veterinary medicine possible, but this is not always the case. For example:
- Animals continue to contract infectious diseases even when highly effective vaccines exist.
- Animals get parasites despite the widespread acceptance that all pets should have year-round parasite control.
- Diagnoses are often not made until a pet has overt clinical signs of an illness.
- Genetic predispositions are not always considered for each pet in a proactive manner.
- Even well-understood chronic diseases like atopic dermatitis and osteoarthritis are sometimes treated with on-again, off-again regimens despite the lifelong timeline.
Imagine the difference to the health of patients and to the bottom line if we ensured that preventive care was provided to all pets in the practice, that we embraced an early-detection model for disease surveillance based on risk rather than waiting for pets to get sick, and that we tailored treatment to patients on the basis of consistent guidelines rather than by relying on individual expertise to dictate how patients are managed.
Most veterinary practices are aware of the importance of prevention, but inconsistencies between doctors in the same practice, a failure to address compliance gaps, and not standardizing hospital-wide recommendations mean too many pets are not receiving optimal care. Practices lose the compensation that would be associated with such care.
Currently, many pet owners only appreciate the need to see a veterinarian for vaccination, routine care or serious illness. This failure to grasp the true value of pet-specific care can adversely affect the health of pets and the financial health of veterinary practices.
The area with the most need for improvement is early detection. Veterinary health care teams are very good at working up patients with clinical problems (such as polyuria/polydipsia), confirming a diagnosis and instituting treatment. However, a goal of pet-specific care is to identify problems when they are subclinical and the pet still appears well and when the most options are often available for management or prevention.
So, for example, our human physician counterparts would not be as satisfied with diagnosing diabetes mellitus in a patient; the preferred goal would be to identify the pre-diabetic patient and then manage the condition so that it might never evolve into clinical diabetes. For us to achieve the same level of care, we need to embrace early detection and not wait for animals to be clinically ill before we start routine screenings and intervention.
A comprehensive history, physical examination and appropriate periodic diagnostic screenings are the key components of early detection. Diagnostic screenings might include genotypic testing (e.g., DNA) and phenotypic testing (e.g., laboratory findings or imaging) for heritable or otherwise predictable medical issues.
Early detection is easiest if we first take the time to appreciate risk. Some animals are going to be at higher risk for specific conditions than others, based on genetics, family history, breed predisposition, lifestyle, exposure and other factors. Doesn’t it make sense to screen pets at risk for a variety of conditions proactively rather than waiting until the conditions become problematic?
The earliest screening is typically genotypic testing, which can be done as early as 1 day of age but for practical purposes is usually done at around 12 weeks (and after pet health insurance is in full effect, for pet owners who desire this form of risk management). With recent advances it is now possible to cost-effectively screen for dozens of genetic diseases with a single panel. Such panels include things like von Willebrand disease, progressive retinal atrophy, cardiomyopathy, degenerative myelopathy, MDR1 and cystinuria. A variety of laboratories, such as Orivet, Canine Health Check, Embark and Mars, provide comprehensive panels. However, the goal of such testing is not necessarily to identify problems, but to provide most pet owners with peace of mind that there are not underlying monogenic diseases that need to be addressed. This is the purpose of neonatal screening in human hospitals – to identify the rare individual with genetic errors, but to provide comfort to the majority of parents that worrisome disorders were not found in such screenings.
Genotypic testing is new and exciting, but it won’t uncover all risks, so phenotypic testing is needed for many conditions, including diabetes mellitus and orthopedic disorders, based on a pet’s individual risk factors. While genotypic testing can be done early in life since DNA does not change as a pet ages, phenotypic testing, such as blood work, urinalysis and radiographic studies, is usually performed at ages and intervals that vary with the breed and condition being detected.
Diagnostic screenings can provide baseline values and facilitate long-term monitoring to establish trends that might help to identify subclinical disease. Without early detection and management, many of these conditions can lead to a significant decrease in a pet’s quality of life.
Shared Standards of Care
The final aspect of pet-specific care is evidence-based management. Hospitals should endeavor to codify best practices that are common to all veterinarians in a practice and based on the most current guidelines available. These standards need to be periodically reviewed and updated as new evidence becomes available.
Clients want veterinarians to provide health guidelines in accordance with their pets’ actual needs, so adopting and implementing guidelines, protocols and evidence-based care pathways allows the veterinary practice team to satisfy this desire while simultaneously better meeting practice revenue objectives. A suitable starting point is to consider thorough assessments or questionnaires to determine which risk factors might influence the decision-making process, using the information to establish prevention protocols and early-detection opportunities, and then monitoring pets throughout their lives, modifying action plans as needed.
Early therapeutic intervention has been shown to offer the best chance of successful long-term management of many conditions. Clearly distinguishing between curing a medical condition and long-term control is important when discussing the benefits of intervention and disease management with pet owners.
The Bottom Line
It doesn’t take much imagination to see that personalized medicine allows for the delivery of better medicine. With improved prevention, early detection and evidence-based treatment and monitoring, as well as closing compliance gaps, there are many more opportunities for revenue generation just by providing better medicine. In fact, the American Animal Hospital Association has suggested a significant increase in revenue is possible over the life of a pet just by providing the level of care that most veterinarians already acknowledge is needed.
When will you incorporate pet-specific care into your practice?
Author: Dr. Lowell Ackerman is a veterinary consultant, lecturer and author. He is editor-in-chief for “Five-Minute Veterinary Practice Management Consult,” and he lectures globally on medicine and management topics.
The recently launched Purina Institute has become the World Small Animal Veterinary Association’s (WSAVA’s) first Diamond Partner. Its support will underpin the running of some of the WSAVA’s key clinical committees and initiatives. These include:
- The Global Nutrition Committee (GNC), which produces research and resources to help the veterinary healthcare team and owners to understand the importance of nutrition in companion animal health
- The Animal Wellness and Welfare Committee (AWWC), which promotes advances in companion animal wellness and welfare around the world. It will publish its Global Guidelines on Companion Animal Welfare at this year’s WSAVA World Congress
- The Hereditary Disease Committee (HDC), which raises awareness and understanding of hereditary disease and genetic predispositions in dogs and cats
- WSAVA One Health Committee, (OHC), which works to highlight the importance of the small companion animal-human interface on the global One Health agenda.
The Purina Institute is also a Global Partner for WSAVA One Care, a pioneering initiative to motivate veterinary associations in countries where companion animal practice is still emerging to raise standards of care.
Serving as the global voice of Purina’s science and its more than 500 scientists and pet care experts, the Purina Institute aims to put nutrition at the forefront of pet health discussions.
The Institute will connect the most innovative minds in pet health by facilitating knowledge exchange and collaboration with veterinary and scientific thought leaders around the world. As a champion of nutrition, the Purina Institute will share the company’s latest scientific breakthroughs and will provide objective, fact-based information sourced from the wider scientific community on current trending topics across pet and human nutrition.
Commenting, Dr Jane Armstrong, External Relations Director for the Purina Institute, said: “We have supported the WSAVA for many years and, as its mission aligns closely with that of the Purina Institute, we felt it was the right time to step up and build an even stronger relationship.”
“The Committees we support align with the Purina Institute’s focus. Purina has long been a pioneer in advancing the science of pet health, so we look forward to the opportunity to participate in global nutrition conversations through the GNC. Additionally, our research on the human-animal bond reflects our commitment to making lives richer for pets and the people who love them. This is a key driver for our interest in the AWWC.”
“We are particularly excited by One Care as it supports the development of companion animal medicine around the world. The Purina Institute embraces its goals, especially the development of regional leadership to enable veterinary organizations to support individual practitioners.”
She added: “The WSAVA is the largest and most important global community of companion animal veterinarians. The team at the Purina Institute look forward to working closely with it on initiatives that advance the missions of both organizations.”
Dr Shane Ryan, Incoming WSAVA President, said: “The work carried out by our Committees is helping to transform companion animal medicine around the world but it would not be possible without the help we receive from our industry partners. On behalf of all of our 200,000 members, I would like to thank the Purina Institute for its most generous support and we look forward to working with the team in the months ahead.”
Diamond Partnership is the premier level available under the WSAVA’s recently launched Partnership Program.
The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) has highlighted the key role of veterinarians as advocates for animal welfare with the launch of its Animal Welfare Global Guidelines for Companion Animal Practitioners and the Veterinary Team.
The Guidelines, launched during WSAVA World Congress 2018 in Singapore, aim to bridge differing perceptions of welfare around the world and help veterinarians to tackle the ethical questions and moral issues which impact welfare. They also offer guidance to ensure that, in addition to providing physical health advice and therapy to their patients, veterinarians can advocate for their psychological, social and environmental wellbeing. The WSAVA already offers Global Guidelines in key areas of veterinary practice, including pain management, vaccination, nutrition and dentistry.
Dr Shane Ryan, incoming President of the WSAVA and former Chair of the WSAVA Animal Wellness and Welfare Committee, said: “As veterinarians, our responsibility extends far beyond the physical health of our patients. Animal welfare as a science is a new and rapidly developing discipline and veterinarians need current, evidence-based information to enable them to maintain the highest welfare standards and to provide knowledgeable, accurate advice for pet owners and communities.
“Our new Guidelines provide recommendations, checklists and other tools to promote optimal levels of welfare throughout the veterinary visit. They also offer guidance on increasing welfare beyond the doors of the clinic through outreach activities.”
He continued: “As levels of pet ownership increase in many regions of the world, including Asia, it is essential that veterinarians champion animal welfare and the WSAVA hopes that these new Guidelines will encourage our members to adopt best practice and set the highest standards.
“I would like to thank the members of the Animal Welfare Guidelines team, who worked so hard to create them and, of course, our sponsor, Waltham®, whose constant support was instrumental in enabling us to deliver them.”
The WSAVA has called on its members to develop an animal welfare charter for their members and to adopt the Guidelines into daily practice. 32 WSAVA member associations have already endorsed the Guidelines with more expected to follow shortly. During 2018-19, the WSAVA will develop relevant continuing education (CE) and provide additional tools and translations of the Guidelines text.
The Animal Welfare Global Guidelines for Companion Animal Practitioners and the Veterinary Team are available for free download at: https://bit.ly/2D3RAoc
The WSAVA aims to advance the health and welfare of companion animals worldwide through creating an educated, committed and collaborative global community of veterinary peers. It represents more than 200,000 veterinarians through 110 member associations.
WSAVA World Congress 2018 is being attended by more than 3,000 veterinarians from around the world and brings together globally respected experts to offer cutting edge thinking on all aspects of companion animal veterinary care. WSAVA World Congress 2019 takes place in Toronto, Canada, from 16-19 July.
The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) Vaccination Guidelines Group (VGG) has held a series of meetings and continuing education (CE) sessions in Mexico. It was the final country visit in its three-year project aimed at enhancing levels of understanding of infectious diseases across Latin America and advising veterinarians on ‘best practice’ in vaccination.
The VGG visit to Mexico took place during August 2018 and included meetings in Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey. Committee members, including VGG Chairman, Emeritus Professor Michael Day, met with veterinary association leaders, academics, first-opinion practitioners and government regulators. They also made site visits to practices in all three cities. To support veterinary education, they delivered three evening CE sessions. The CE session in Mexico City was also live-streamed and made available to registrants for 30 days after the presentation. Altogether, over 2,000 veterinarians were reached by the live or on-line programme.
In advance of the visit, the VGG circulated an online questionnaire to collect data on veterinary demographics, infectious disease occurrence and vaccination protocols. The survey was completed by 552 veterinarians with the data presented during the CE events.
The VGG develops globally relevant recommendations for best practice in the vaccination of dogs and cats. It has also created the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) Global Vaccination Guidelines, the latest version of which was released early in 2016. WSAVA Global Guidelines aim to support veterinarians by setting minimum standards for care and recommending best practice in key areas of veterinary medicine.
The WSAVA represents more than 200,000 veterinarians worldwide through 104 member associations and is focused on enhancing the clinical care of companion animals.
Commenting on the visit, Emeritus Professor Day said: “The VGG was delighted with the success of this visit to Mexico; a country with an estimated 45,000 veterinarians with students graduating from approximately 45 public and private veterinary schools.”
“Mexican veterinarians are accustomed to the principle of annual revaccination of dogs and cats with multicomponent products, but those we spoke to were excited by the new concepts of less frequent and individualized vaccination, incorporated into a preventive healthcare package for pets. Vaccine-preventable infectious diseases such as canine distemper and parvovirus infections, remain highly prevalent in Mexico. Increasing herd immunity by improving vaccination coverage is clearly an important goal for the Mexican veterinary community.”
He added: “We are pleased to acknowledge the financial and logistical support provided by MSD Animal Health for the work of the VGG and for this visit in particular. Colleagues from MSD worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that our independent scientific programme ran faultlessly in Mexico.”
The VGG ran a similar programme of activity in Argentina (2016) and Brazil (2017) and, during 2019, a final white paper on the findings of the Latin America project will be prepared for publication.
WSAVA Endorses FVE/FECAVA Position Paper on Healthy Breeding Global companion animal veterinary association warns of the health and welfare risks of extreme breeding
The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) is the latest veterinary association to highlight concerns about the impact of extreme breeding in dogs by supporting a Position Paper launched in June 2018 by the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) and the Federation of European Companion Animal Veterinary Associations (FECAVA).
The FVE/FECAVA Position Paper is a response to the explosion in popularity of dog breeds with exaggerated traits or genetic disorders and, in particular, those with extreme brachycephalic conformation, such as French and English bulldogs and pugs. While these breeds are increasingly popular with owners, they can suffer severe health and welfare issues. The Position Paper calls for health and welfare to be given priority over looks and offers detailed recommendations to address both the rising demand for these dogs and the increase in supply. They include:
Measures to reduce demand
- Addressing demand for brachycephalic and other affected breeds through educating owners about the health issues they face
- Working with influencers, such as media and celebrities, to encourage owners to choose a healthy, high welfare dog which is suitable for their life style.
Measures to reduce supply
- Introducing the mandatory registration of breeders, pre-breeding screening programs and the sharing of data on conformation-altering surgeries and caesarean sections
- Educating stakeholders and revising breeding standards and practices to put the health and welfare of dogs first.
FVE and FECAVA have also produced an infographic explaining the causes and consequences of extreme breeding and listing a number of recommendations.
“Extreme breeding is a global concern with our members seeing the results of brachycephalic conformation in practice on a regular basis. The suffering it causes is beyond dispute,” said Dr Walt Ingwersen, President of the WSAVA.
“Following detailed review by our Hereditary Disease Committee, our Animal Wellness and Welfare Committee and the WSAVA’s Executive Board, we are delighted to endorse the joint FVE/FECAVA Position Paper and congratulate both associations on highlighting the issue and setting out a clear strategy to tackle it. It builds on momentum established by the Brachycephalic Working Group (BWG), an initiative which brings together all of the major stakeholders in dog welfare in the UK to improve the welfare of brachycephalic dogs.”
Dr Ingwersen continued: “Lasting change requires commitment and collaboration between veterinarians, breeder associations and other stakeholders on a global basis. We are ready to play our part and look forward to working with our colleagues in the FVE and FECAVA and our member associations to deliver on the recommendations made in the Position Paper.”
Dr Wolfgang Dohne, FECAVA President, commented: “We’re delighted that the WSAVA has offered its support to the joint FVE/FECAVA Position Paper. It is important for veterinarians to speak up on this important welfare issue and together we are stronger.”
The WSAVA aims to advance the health and welfare of companion animals worldwide through creating an educated, committed and collaborative global community of veterinary peers. It represents more than 200,000 veterinarians through 104 member associations. Its annual World Congress brings together globally respected experts to offer cutting edge thinking on all aspects of companion animal veterinary care.
Notes to editors:
The Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) is an umbrella organisation of 44 veterinary organisations from 38 European countries, representing a total of around 240 000 veterinarians. The FVE strives to promote animal health, animal welfare and public health across Europe.
The Federation of European Companion Animal Veterinary Associations (FECAVA) is the platform for the promotion of the professional development and representation of companion animal veterinarians in Europe. Founded in 1990, it currently has 40 national member associations and 13 associate member associations. FECAVA represents over 25,000 companion animal practitioners throughout Europe
Brussels, 25 June 2018 – Extreme breeding causes serious health and welfare problems: veterinarians are voicing their concern about the promotion of flat-faced dogs in films and social media, as this is likely to boost consumer demand for such dogs. Recent reactions were prompted by the announcement of the upcoming Disney film ‘Patrick’, in which a pug plays a feature role.
‘Pugs are a so-called brachycephalic or flat-faced dog breed, just like French and English bulldogs. Due to their extreme conformation, they are prone to many health issues,’ stressed Wolfgang Dohne, president of the Federation of European Companion Animal Veterinary Associations (FECAVA). While pets are bred this way to make them more appealing to buyers, ‘the reality is that these exaggerated features can lead to breathing difficulties, recurring skin infections, eye diseases and spinal or neurological problems, severely impacting their health and welfare.’
To raise awareness about health and welfare issues in breeding, FECAVA recently adopted a position paper on healthy breeding, jointly with the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE).
‘Celebrities, social media and filmmakers strongly contribute to increasing the popular demand of certain breeds. Over the past few years, this has led to a real explosion in the number of brachycephalic dogs such as the French bulldog,’ confirmed Monique Megens, FECAVA representative of the joint animal welfare committee of FVE and the Union of European Veterinary Practitioners. ‘This is a worrying trend, as the exaggerated features of these dogs means that many need invasive surgery to allow them to breathe normally.’
‘Our profession is very concerned about this development, which not only has an impact on dog health and welfare but also on consumer protection,’ stressed Rafael Laguens, FVE president. ‘As vets, it is our role to educate our clients and to speak up and raise awareness about the consequences of exaggerated breeding. The FVE general assembly recently adopted a joint FECAVA/FVE policy paper on this topic.’
The BWG, comprised of vets, breed clubs, welfare charities and academics, also expressed concerns that the film could lead to a surge in demand for pugs. Steps agreed by Disney and BWG include:
– an added a welfare message to the credits section, explaining the health issues pugs face
– leaflet distribution to journalists and the public at UK cinemas, raising awareness of leading health issues in the breed and explaining that ownership should not be undertaken lightly
– images of pugs dressed in human clothing will not be used in marketing for the film
– no merchandising of Patrick pug memorabilia
BWG will also support development of film industry initiatives to ensure that potential animal welfare implications are considered prior to future movies that prominently feature animals
On 26 June, FECAVA and FVE representatives will furthermore join forces with the EU Dog and Cat Alliance to raise awareness about extreme breeding in the European Parliament.
‘This is not just a European issue,’ confirmed Walt Ingwersen, president of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA), ‘Extreme breeding is a global concern. Our members see the results of extreme brachycephalic confirmation in practice on a regular basis and it is one of our top animal welfare concerns. We have therefore been in discussions with FECAVA and FVE with a view to supporting this policy paper on healthy breeding.’
FECAVA, FVE and WSAVA fully support initiatives such as that of the BWG and urge filmmakers to refrain from using such animals – whether live-action, animated or online videos – as this will increase their popularity.