The European Commission (EC) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) launch the 'Vets in your daily life' campaign that celebrates the 250th anniversary of the creation of the veterinary profession.
As part of the campaign, a series of events will unfold throughout 2011, declared World Veterinary Year for the occasion, to increase knowledge about the multifaceted work of veterinarians.
Dr Bernard Vallat, OIE Director General, said: "Everybody knows veterinarians as animal doctors, but few know that they truly play a pivotal role in the prevention and control of infectious animal diseases, including those transmissible to humans, animal welfare, food production or food safety. World Veterinary Year 2011 is a very special opportunity to celebrate the daily contribution of veterinarians to the civil society, as a global public good."
Dr Bernard Van Goethem, Acting Deputy Director General for the food chain at the European Commission's Health and Consumers Directorate General added: "World Veterinary Year is an opportunity to underline the importance the European Commission attaches to the veterinary profession, and the contribution it makes to society: ensuring not just the confidence of consumers across Europe, but all over the world. Vets have been at the forefront of the response to animal health and food crises in Europe over the past 20 years, and it is only right that we acknowledge the key role that they play in protecting the food chain both today, and for future generations."
A communication campaign of multimedia and play
The OIE and EC developed six TV spots – available in 23 languages – that describe the variety of the day-to-day work of veterinarians, from scientific research to crisis management, food safety or care for animals. They will be broadcasted in different online media including EUTube and Youtube.
Intended to inspire future generations of veterinarians, World Veterinary Year will be promoted at the two biggest European animals and food fair-trades: the Internationale Grüne Woche in Berlin, Germany and the Salon International de l'Agriculture in Paris, France, respectively held on 21 to 30 January and on 19 to 27 February 2011. Visitors of all ages will find out about the different veterinary careers through drawing contests, quizzes and non-stop video broadcasting.
In addition, a worldwide web-based photographic competition highlighting the relation between animals and veterinarians will launch from the end of January 2011.
The year-long communication campaign will close at the 30 th World Veterinary Congress in Cape Town, South-Africa on 14 October 2011.