South Tipperary Minister for State Tom Hayes welcomed more than 650 vets and vet nurses to Ireland last week, for the 19th Federation of European Companion Animal Veterinary Associations (FECAVA).
From 43 countries, the delegates attended this major congress at the Convention Centre, organised jointly by Veterinary Ireland and the Northern Ireland branch of the BSAVA (British Small Animal Veterinary Association).
One hundred and fourteen scientific and continuous professional development sessions took place over three days on up-to-date treatments and practices ranging from orthopaedics, cardiology and epilepsy to dentistry or ophthalmology – entirely focused on companion animals, or pets.
“We have seen significant advances in the treatment of pets in recent decades. The Congress features sessions which highlight new surgical procedures, new drug therapies and new treatments which can keep pets alive for longer with a good quality of life, benefiting both our pet patients and clients,” said Alan Rossiter, immediate past president of Veterinary Ireland.
“Providing vets with access to up-to-date scientific information and a forum for exploring new procedures is important for our own professional development. It helps us to do the best job possible to protect the health of pets in our care and to provide the best possible service to pet owners,” said Mr Rossiter.
Des Thompson, scientific chair for the European veterinary congress said: “Even within the past 15 years we have seen tremendous progress in areas such as keyhole surgery techniques or oncology surgery, radiology and drug treatments, which all mean that many pet owners can enjoy the companionship of their pets for longer.” Mr. Thompson said that other improvements such as imaging with MRI and CT scans support more accurate diagnostics as well as treatment decision making.
“Working in an environment with constantly evolving science and trends involves continuous learning for all members of a veterinary practice team,” said Mr. Thompson. He welcomed the breadth of content of interest to veterinary nurses as well as vets and specialists.
“Up to date approaches to recovery in physiotherapy and hydrotherapy will be covered at the congress as well as behavioural indicators and welfare implications, providing insights which can help to improve the relationship between owners and pets with behavioural problems.”
Commenting on the congress, Minister Tom Hayes T.D. said that he was delighted that the organisers had chosen Ireland as the venue for the congress this year, which he said would bring valuable business to the local economy. He welcomed the emphasis of the congress on pets and said that, in the context of the enactment of the Animal Health & Welfare Act earlier this year, his colleague, Minister Coveney, had indicated that he intended to introduce legislation to provide for the microchipping of dogs which he felt would help to reduce the cost of caring for lost or stray dogs while owners are being located, thereby reducing the stress on owners.
The Department of Agriculture, Food & The Marine has conducted a public consultation on the issue and intends to bring forward the details of this scheme in the near future. Concluding, the Minister wished the delegates well in their deliberations.