Companion Animals Stakeholder Summit: Nuturing Human-Animal Bond

FECAVA, in collaboration with Zoetis, a global leader in pet and livestock medicine and vaccination, recently hosted the Companion Animal Stakeholder Summit in Brussels on March 19th. The event aimed to unveil the new Human-Animal Bond report, which highlights the scientifically proven benefits of the bond between humans and pets.

The summit commenced with an engaging introduction by Marina Kaljurand from Estonia, a member of the Intergroup on Animal Welfare and Conservation of Animals. She shared heartfelt anecdotes about her life with her Scottish Terrier, emphasizing the unique bond they shared.

The discussion delved into how both humans and animals benefit from the Human-Animal Bond, especially as advancements in animal health and welfare enable us to prolong the companionship with our pets. Jamie Brannan from Zoetis underscored the pivotal role of animal health in nurturing this bond.

Dr. Danny Holmes, President of FECAVA, elaborated on the significance of animal health in fostering a secure and healthy bond between pets and owners. He highlighted the threat of zoonotic diseases and emphasized the veterinarian’s role in monitoring and maintaining the health of pets. He advocated for regular veterinary check-ups and increased awareness among pet owners, suggesting that policymakers should facilitate access to veterinary care for all pet owners.

During the panel discussion, FECAVA Vice President Dr. Ann Criel addressed the challenges veterinarians face in their daily practice. She discussed the influence of media on pet ownership decisions and highlighted the emotional complexities surrounding end-of-life decisions for elderly pet owners.

The panel also featured Prof. Marie José Enders-Slegers from IAHAIO, Georgia Diamatopoulou from Four Paws, and Andrea Gavinelli from DG Sante, EU Commission. Together, they emphasized the importance of garnering political attention for the Human-Animal Bond.

In the end it was clear that the best audience should always include some dogs, like Django, Lucy and Rufus from FVE office and we ended the discussion with a question from the floor: when will dogs be allowed to the EU parliament.

The event concluded with gratitude to Zoetis for their collaboration and a commitment to further explore the implications of the Human-Animal Bond in the future.

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