World Veterinary Day Celebrates the Work of Vets in Human and Animal Health
April 28 is World Veterinary Day. For the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC), this is an opportunity to honor professionals who have a critical role in protecting the health, safety, and well-being of both animals and people.
Vets play an important part in health care throughout pets’ lives. With regular check-ups, veterinarians can often detect problems at their earliest stage before treatment becomes difficult. They are a pet owner’s best resource for health issues such as worms, parasites, arthritis and kidney diseases—regardless of the pet.
Veterinarians are also significant partners in ensuring people have the best companion animal relationships. A 2016 Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association paper on incorporating the human-animal bond into the veterinary practice noted, “Owners who have the strongest bond with their pets are more likely to accept healthcare recommendations from their veterinarians, and high-bonded owners visit their veterinarian more often and are more likely to seek preventative care.”
Beyond caring for sick and injured pets and helping pets live long and healthy lives through preventative care, vets are instrumental in prevention, treatment and control of zoonotic diseases. Whether they are in private practice or working in public health, these veterinarians play a vital role in managing diseases that can be passed between animals and humans, such as Campybacteriosis, Salmonellosis and rabies. PIJAC is pleased to work closely with the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) on zoonotic disease prevention, which includes having AVMA’s chief of professional development and strategic alliances, Dr. Mia Cary, serve on our Zoonoses Committee.
PIJAC is proud to support the work of veterinarians year-round. On behalf of our members, we have advocated for legislation promoting the importance of veterinary checks. PIJAC also supports congressional reauthorization of the Animal Drug User Fee Act (ADUFA), which would spur innovation in animal health by expanding the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine’s conditional approvals of new animal drugs for major uses in major species, such as cats and dogs. This expansion would give veterinarians additional tools and options for treating companion animals of all species.
From vaccinations to routine check-ups, zoonotic disease prevention, and life-saving surgery, the compassionate work of veterinarians is pivotal to animal and human health. We honor them on World Veterinary Day and every day.
Savonne Caughey is director of government affairs for the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC). Her nearly 20 years of government relations and public affairs experience includes high-level positions in public service as well as in the corporate and non-profit sectors. She has worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Elanco Animal Health, the state of Texas, and the American Heart Association.