Veterinarians to animals are gods disguised as doctors. The world bore witness to the superhuman feats of veterinarians during the Covid-19 crisis, so celebrating World Veterinary Day (WVD) 2021 in the most vibrant fashion is the least we do to honor these heroes.
Observed on the 24th of April every year, there are numerous reasons to celebrate veterinary appreciation day, especially for animal lovers.
Animal welfare personnel, medical professionals, volunteers, and millions of others join hands each year, so let’s take our hats off by learning about the history, the names, and all the other ways you can celebrate a ‘happy’ veterinary day.
The History, Cause, and the Effect
To learn about the founding of World Veterinary Day back in the year 2000, you must first know the significance of an organization named ‘World Veterinary Association’ (WVA). Incepted in 1959 in Spain, WVA’s mission is “to provide global leadership for the veterinary profession and promote animal health and welfare and public health, through advocacy, education, and partnership”.
The World Veterinary Association was tabled at the 16th ‘World Veterinary Congress’ due to a series of unfortunate events that plagued the 1800s and the 1900s.
The mid-1800s was catastrophic for the cattle as a deadly disease called Rinderpest ran amok, killing thousands of cattle across the world, mainly in Europe. In 1863, a general meeting of doctors took place in Hamburg, Germany, with the agenda to discuss the containment and eradication of Rinderpest.
A disease that spread among cattle that inhaled, secreted, or excreted droplets would not be tamed until the dawn of the 21st century.
The first and the only animal-based disease to be eradicated, Rinderpest, was barely contained for nearly 150 years, only to be eradicated in the year 2011. Cattle farming was & still is a key resource for thousands of families across the western hemisphere, and the carnage Rinderpest left behind was famine, deaths, and broken homes, although the disease never jumped species.
Incepted to discuss epizootic diseases, WVA plays a vital role, especially on WVD on the 24th of April.
Today, as Covid-19 and its various variants still wreak havoc in 2021, the importance of celebrating World Veterinary Day is magnified. We need to celebrate to remind ourselves of a grim past and bring attention to the epizootic disease that is Covid-19. The words awareness, accountability, and retribution with respect to said epizootic diseases must resonate across all corners of the globe.
How to Celebrate World Veterinary Day
Although celebrating World Veterinary Day (WVD) is for vets, in particular, anyone with a soft spot for their pets or animals at large can partake.
For the Vet:
- WVD has a theme each year, so sign up for seminars, webinars and become a part of a global veterinary community.
- Involve pet parents and animal enthusiasts to form a community and discuss their pets, animal wellbeing, care, nurture, and other aspects.
- Schedule an unofficial meeting, thank your staff and fellow vets, discussing various professional viewpoints.
- Decorate your clinic or medical establishment like a birthday event to start a conversation about WVD.
- Play with the animals that visit you, showing them an appreciation for adding value to everyone’s lives.
For the Zoophilist:
- Thank your local veterinarian for all that he/she has done.
- Donate to a local, credible animal charity.
- Write a blog on topics related to World Veterinary Day or animals in general.
- Spend quality time with your pet.
- Visit a zoo, attend a webinar, or learn about your favorite animal in depth.
- Participate in any World Veterinary Day celebration that may be happening around you.
- Foster a pet for a day or as long as you can care for one.
- Rescue an animal from the shelter.
World Veterinary Day Awardees
Suppose you’re one of those prolific professionals who has dedicated your life to the betterment of animal wellbeing or any closely related niche. In that case, you have our heartfelt gratitude, and the awardees we’re about to speak of are no different.
Being a member of the World Veterinary Association opens doors to participate in the annual, theme-based awards, and these are the winners in the last three years:
1. The 2020 winner was the ‘Indian Veterinary Association’ from Kerala, India, for the theme “Environmental Protection for Improving Animal and Human Health”.
2. ‘Uganda Veterinary Association’ (UVA) took the prize for the theme “Value of Vaccination” in 2019.
3. ‘Uganda Veterinary Association’ (UVA) again won for the theme “The Role of the Veterinary Profession in Sustainable Development to Improve Livelihoods, Food Security and Safety” in 2018.
The 2021 World Veterinary Day theme is “Environmental Safety for Enhancing Animal and Human Well Being”, and anyone who’s a part of WVA gets a chance to win a grand prize of $2,500. If you’re a World Veterinary Association vet focused on defending the climate and supporting a sustainable lifestyle, you have a fair chance of winning in 2021.
The Fallout of the Covid-19 Crisis
Considering the last pandemic occurred over 100 years ago, every veterinary doctor was working through her/his first pandemic, and the stories each one can narrate is extraordinary. As people started to panic and stayed at home, fostering & adopting pets became a trend, manifested into a one-of-kind issue never seen before.
First-time pet parents and pets of all kinds were falling sick due to various reasons. Not much exercise, lack of attention, various types of diseases still got pets sick, and pet parents had to rush to veterinarians, and the doctors had no choice but to treat them.
As lockdown rules did not apply for ‘essential services’, Covid-19 posed a different threat as interaction with other humans in a closed environment became inevitable. No strangers to personal protective equipment (PPE), veterinarians across the globe rushed to donate their equipment and provide any medical services as front-line workers.
As of April 2021, the final fallout of the Covid-19 crisis is yet to be witnessed from veterinary doctors’ perspective, and if history taught us anything, doctors are up for the task any given day.
So this World Veterinary Day, let us acknowledge the contributions of our talented and beloved veterinarians around the world!
Let us know if you have any inspiring vet stories in your quiver of tales!