After a two year break from live meetings due to the Coronavirus pandemic, FECAVA finally met again, this time in the beautiful historical capital of the Czech Republic – Prague 8 – 11 June 2022. Approximately 650 delegates from over 45 countries visited the Congress and came from as far as Australia and Mexico.
The core of the Congress was the high-level scientific program with top speakers from Europe (including local specialists from the Czech Republic) and America. The pre-congress day started with two practical workshops in small groups on Dentistry and Lung Ultrasound.
The scientific program’s highlight was the FECAVA Symposium on Anesthesia and analgesia with Dr. Polly Taylor, European Specialist in Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia from the United Kingdom, and Dr. Paulo Steagall, professor of Veterinary Anesthesia and Pain Management at the Université de Montréal in Canada. Last year, they produced a series of documents called FECAVA Basic Practices in Anesthesia and Analgesia to support veterinary practitioners with an easy-to-follow flowcharts and guidance notes on anaesthetic plan, acute pain assesement, building an analgesic plan and basic anaesthetic blocs. The documents are available for free download from the FECAVA webpage in English or many other languages (with support from National Associations and other volunteers).
The latest published factsheets from FECAVA, Dental factsheets, were also presented during lectures by the author Dr. Jerzy Gawor. The FECAVA dental factsheets are dedicated to the public to increase awareness of the importance of oral health in dogs and cats. They are also available for free download from the FECAVA webpage. The translations are in progress, and the group plans to produce more documents. It is worth keeping an eye on the FECAVA webpage for future updates.
During the Congress, a selection of 20 scientific posters was exhibited in the exhibition area. The Scientific Committee selected the best poster winner, who received a complimentary registration to the next FECAVA Congress.
As the organizing team wrote in the invitation letter – it is not only science that makes humanity alive. The vital part of the Congress was to meet colleagues and enjoy a drink in picturesque Prague. The Congress Dinner, organized by the Czech Small Animal Veterinary Association, was held in a historical place named “Prague Crossroads”. It is situated in a 14th-century Gothic church renovated for cultural events as a mark of respect for the modern world’s multicultural diversity. Its main objective is to respond to the now widely-felt need for open-minded and creative dialogue among people of different faiths, convictions, and professions about the present state of our civilization, the dangers threatening it, and collective society’s hopes for the future.
That seems very much in the spirit of the recent devastating happening in Ukraine, a theme that was present during the whole Congress. Thanks to generous sponsorship from BSAVA, CSAVS and other associations, 72 Ukrainian vets attended the Congress for free. The delegates wore handmade Ukrainian flowers in solidarity with the nation and listened to their stories while visiting their booth. During the Council meeting FECAVA representative for Ukraine Natalia Ignatenko delivered an emotional speech about the situation in her home country. Even though it is difficult to express the emotions we feel for the nation in war, every member association expressed sympathies and willingness to help as much as possible. For many, it was difficult to hold back tears.
On the young, the future stands. That’s why FECAVA brought together ten veterinary students from different countries with FECAVA Evidensia Student Travel Scholarship to experience an international event. From the sparks in their eyes and their testimonials, they had an unforgettable experience. Erle from Estonia shared her impressions: »Students formed a really great group and discovered Prague together, shared ideas and talked a lot about future plans. The networking possibilities were endless throughout the Congress and my specific interests even got me a job offer. The scientific program was amazing to a point that in some lectures you just could not fit in the room.«
Incredibly heartwarming was meeting with students and the GGA group of past FECAVA directors. Based on their conversation they shared ambitious ideas with the FECAVA Council. The student Merel from the Netherlands wrote: “This was my favorite part of the event! I loved everything about it. Their kindness, their wise words, and their genuine interest in our experiences. They listened to our views on the profession, and I felt heard, which was nice. I learned a lot from their experiences and their advice, and it has helped me create a more ‘realistic’ image of my future in my mind, which I think is very important.”
In parallel rooms during the Congress were an intensive three days full of meeting for the FECAVA Board, Working Groups, and the Council on the last day. This served as a lookback of the work done and intensive brainstorming for future projects. FECAVA’s plan for the future involves introducing two new working groups covering important topics for the profession: Sustainability (chaired by Dr. Stephan Neumann) and Healthy and Responsible Breeding (chaired by Dr. Xavier Levy). The Working group on Zoonotic diseases is close to finishing. Their final result will be eight factsheets on Zoonotic diseases which will be published in the next few months.
More results of the meetings will be visible on the FECAVA webpage and social media channels.
We hope to see you next year for the joint FECAVA, WSAVA, APMVEAC, and FIAVAC Congress from 27 to 29 September 2023 in Lisbon and 2024 in Athens.
29 June 2022
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