It’s 27 April, and today is World Veterinary Day. Celebrated since 2000 on the last Saturday in April, each year features a specific theme of particular interest to the veterinary community. This year, World Veterinary Day will seek to raise awareness of vaccination as a means to prevent disease.
“Vaccines are very valuable tools to stop the spread of a large number of transmissible diseases that threaten the health and welfare of animals and people,” explains the World Veterinary Association. “Vaccination of animals helps people to protect their livestock and their companion animals, as well as themselves in case of zoonotic diseases. Through well organised campaigns, vaccination contributes to the eradication of diseases from certain areas and even from the world.”
Vaccination is equally important in clinical veterinary practices and large animal practices. With companion animals, for example, vaccination is important to prevent and even eradicate diseases, in some cases also providing protection to the owners who are in regular, close contact with the animals. In the case of commercial farm animals, outbreaks of diseases can have a huge impact on farm productivity, and here vaccination is again a key preventative measure.
World Veterinary Day provides a great opportunity for veterinarians to promote their message and educate the community. As stated on the website of the New Zealand Veterinary Association, “World Veterinary Day is an ideal opportunity for us all to show our communities the value and protection vaccinations provide against the spread of disease.”
So whether you are a livestock farmer or pet owner, why not use this day to contact your vet and find out more about the benefits of vaccination. Who knows, some practices may even run special clinics or promotions, providing you with a cost-effective opportunity to have your animals vaccinated.