Fourteen Directors, the full FECAVA board and a handful of guests gathered in beautiful sunny Larnaca for the FECAVA Council meeting late October. Main topic of the meeting was the new marketing strategy, presented to the assembly by the marketing committee chair Goran Cvetcovic (Director for Serbia). This also included a new communication strategy.
Furthermore, a new fee structure was proposed by Danny Holmes (FECAVA treasurer), to accommodate both for the larger and the lower-disposable-income countries.
The new canine vector-borne disease factsheets were presented by the working group. Factsheets on heartworm, Dirofilaria repens, angiostrongylosis and leishmaniosis have now been finalised and two more factsheets are underway. A call for volunteers was made for translations, to be presented at the vector-borne diseases stream at the upcoming FECAVA congress in St Petersburg.
Ann Criel (FECAVA honorary secretary) reported on the first meeting of FECAVA’s newly created mental health working group. The group had discussed the UK initiative VetLife and it had decided to gather data on similar initiatives in other European countries.
FECAVA President Wolfgang Dohne announced the signature of a joint veterinary letter addressed to the European Commission, highlighting the concerns of unregulated online trade of pets. The document, signed by the three major European veterinary organisations (Federation of Veterinarians of Europe, Union of European Veterinary Practitioners, FECAVA) as well as the animal protection organisation Four Paws, https://www.four-paws.org.uk/ also lists a number of recommendations. Andrew Robinson (FVE) suggested that contacting online platform owners such as e-Bay would also help.
‘Nearly 30% of dogs are above ideal bodyweight,’ warned FECAVA vice president Denis Novak, presenting the Global pet obesity project . He urged FECAVA and its members to ‘accept obesity as a disease’ and adopt the global body condition score scale as well as a uniform definition for obesity.
Krista Arnold (UK) gave an update of the Advisory council on veterinary nurses’ education (ACOVENE) and reported on the development of two successful nurses’ programmes at FECAVA-member congresses in Croatia and Romania.
Current policy issues were presented by Danny Holmes, and included the dog trade, identification and registration, disease surveillance, medicines availability, healthy breeding and the consequences of Brexit. He also provided an update of the FECAVA practice posters on hygiene and antimicrobial resistance. He called upon members to contact the head office in case they needed to print translated versions.
The Cyprian hosts had organised a warm welcome and a great dinner, jointly with the Pancyprian veterinary association. At this occasion, professor Stavras Malas announced the development of the first Veterinary School in Cyprus (University of Nicosia), in collaboration with the Royal Veterinary College.
The next Council meeting is planned for 30 March and will be held in Zagreb, Croatia.