Next EASVO General Assembly
On 24th November 2022, the EASVO General Assembly took place in Malta.
We were delighted to meet in person in Malta, ably supported by Wiebke from the FVE team. We agreed to support all of the items for vote on the FVE General Assembly agenda and enjoyed interesting discussions on several issues.
Excitingly we adopted our new EASVO Strategy and, in line with that, agreed to financially support EASVO representatives in the new Animal Welfare and Food Safety and Sustainability Working Groups (AWWG and FS&SWG).
We then welcomed our guest speakers, Claire White from the UK’s NFU in a joint session with UEVH speaking about her role as a “vet in industry”, Allan Muir from the European Association of Zoo and Wildlife Veterinarians speaking about developing guidance for the implementation of the AH Regulations in Zoos and Estelle Hamelin from WOAH speaking about long distant transport, HPAI and updates on digital developments by WOAH and its members.
We also joined all the other FVE Sections in a joint session where we discussed our different perspectives on the subject of veterinary professional career pathways and the importance of the independence of the veterinarian. A particular thanks goes to our speaker from the International Veterinary Students' Association who spoke from the perspective of current veterinary students.
And, last but not least, we had our usual update on the AWWG with Mette Uldahl (FVE VP) and, while there were no FVE papers on animal welfare for vote, we held a useful discussion on the key issues facing EASVO members for consideration in establishing the work plan for the new AWWG. We also heard from members on issues as diverse as the successful identification of the incursion of a new orbivirus (EHDV) in Sardinia and Sicily, the implementation of the Article 25 Animal Health Regulation Vet visits, the status of animals in rewilding programmes, and food waste and the sustainable food chain. On the final point we agreed to recommend that this, and the important perspective of the impact on our farmed animals of food waste, is taken forward in the new FS&SWG.
London, United Kingdom
On 16th June 2022, the EASVO General Assembly took place in London, UK.
We were delighted to be able to meet in person in London, ably supported by Wiebke from the FVE team. We agreed to support all of the items for vote on the FVE General Assembly agenda and enjoyed interesting discussions on several issues.
As usual a significant proportion of our discussions were on Animal Welfare and we were pleased to be joined by Mette Uldahl (FVE VP) to discuss the FVE papers for vote, on animal welfare labelling and animal welfare during transport. We then heard a report on the AW audit in slaughterhouses in Switzerland and a very interesting presentation on the practical challenges and delivery approaches of welfare in transport in Austria. During these discussions we agreed to recommend that FVE, and the AWWG, continue to highlight the role of veterinarians in advocating for animal welfare, delivering successful welfare outcomes and influencing both the quality and potential ways to reduce, long distance journeys.
Importantly we also discussed EASVO business, and we agreed to develop an EASVO strategy. This will be aligned with the FVE strategy but will highlight our unique role and look to address the specific challenges faced by our members as state veterinarians.
We also heard that our finances were in good health following the disruption of the last few years. This meant that we were able to agree to FVE secretariat and professional support which will be hugely valued as we develop our strategy.
And, last but not least, in our roundtable we discussed the different approaches taken by our members in relation to supporting our Ukrainian friends and the “silent refugees” – their pets. Then it was time to discuss the response to African Swine Fever and Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza by our members, and our interest in developing vaccination instead of culling for control programmes. And finally an update on the ban on breeding certain dog breeds in Norway and, although we did not have much time to discuss the important subject of veterinary wellbeing and resource challenges, we agreed that will weave this into our strategy.
Brussels and Virtual Meeting, Belgium and GoToMeeting
On 11th November 2021, the EASVO General Assembly took place in Brussels and virtually by "GoToMeeting"
A small group of our of members were pleased to meet in person in Brussels, with the rest of the GA attending virtually, ably supported by Wiebke from the FVE team. We agreed to support all of the items for vote on the FVE General Assembly agenda, including our votes for the nominees for FVE VP and the Finance Committee, and enjoyed interesting discussions on several issues.
As usual a significant proportion of our discussions were on Animal Welfare and we were grateful to be joined by Sean Wensley, chair of the FVE AWWG, to discuss the FVE papers for vote, on welfare friendly farrowing systems for pigs and the FVE AW strategy. We then heard a report from Conny, who had represented the FVE and EASVO at an OIE workshop on welfare during the long distance transport of animals. During these discussions we agreed to recommend that FVE and the AWWG consider the prioritisation of Pig AW issues in the FVE AW Strategy and the output of Conny’s report on the OIE workshop.
Importantly we also discussed EASVO business, and heard that our finances were in good health. We also reviewed our statutes in light of the exceptional disruption to EASVO’s work, caused by Covid-19, and after adopting a new clause, the GA voted in favour of the current EASVO board continuing to serve for a further 2 year term.
In our roundtable we discussed some of the challenges and opportunities that OVs have faced during Covid-19, we have continued to respond to the challenges of Animal Health notifiable diseases, but we also have worked effectively in multi-disciplinary teams and this provides an excellent framework for the future. We all agreed that this is a valuable agenda item and that we would like to spend more time on it at our next GA, when we hope to finally meet in person in London.
And last, but not least, we agreed to develop the EASVO strategy, by correspondence, for further discussion and potentially adoption, at the June GA in London.
Virtual Meeting, GoToMeeting
On 10th June 2021, the EASVO General Assembly took place virtually by "GoToMeeting"
Sadly we were, again unable to meet, in person, in London for the GA this year so, instead, we held a busy and valuable “virtual meeting” ably supported by Wiebke from the FVE team. We agreed to support all of the items for vote on the FVE General Assembly Agenda and enjoyed interesting discussions on several issues.
Our main discussions were on Animal Welfare and we were grateful to be joined by Sean Wensley, chair of the FVE AWWG, to discuss the FVE papers for vote, on sustainable husbandry systems for laying hens and best practice for the euthanasia of horses, and the FVE AW strategy that is out for consultation. During this discussion we agreed to recommend that FVE and the AWWG consider how they define/use the terminology around “animal mental health”/psychological wellbeing of animals and also consider how to present documents for different audiences as they develop the AW strategy. We also discussed the work of the ad hoc FVE working group on welfare during long distance transport following our recommendation to the FVE GA on this at the last meeting.
From Germany, Conny, spoke about the One Health challenges posed by the rise in the illegal dog trade/puppy smuggling and the internet sales of pets and, recognising that work is already underway, we call on the FVE to continue to show leadership in this area. We will also consider proposing a joint session with UEVP (practitioners) to discuss these challenges at a future GA.
And finally, we reflected on the integration of an EASVO strategy with the developing work plan for the FVE strategy. We agreed that a small group of EASVO members, led by Romano, will develop a draft strategy for further discussion/adoption at the November GA.