Will Rogers once said, “The best doctor in the world is a veterinarian. He can’t ask his patients what is the matter– he’s got to just know!” World Veterinary day is celebrated all over acknowledging the important role vets play world over taking care of livestock, poultry and companion animals. In a country like India, vets have an even more important role as they can be the catalysts in improving livelihoods of poor people who are dependent on livestock. However, more often than not, the needs of the very poor when it comes to vet services are rarely addressed as there is a dearth of private vets in rural areas. Moreover, most public vets posted in rural areas, prefer to take care of livestock belonging to better off farmers e.g. dairy farmers or commercial poultry keepers while the very poor remain marginalised.
Therefore, as we mark this year’s World Veterinarian Day, I would like to call upon my vet colleagues to stay serving communities, however remote some may be, and be sensitive to the needs of all farmers- rich or poor, male or female. I would consider it a great achievement if we vets do our job with utmost selflessness, not forgetting the Veterinarians’ Oath that we took “to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health and welfare, the prevention and relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health and the advancement of medical knowledge.”
This year’s World Veterinary Day is focusing on Vector-borne diseases with Zoonotic potential. Vector-borne zoonotic diseases are becoming a major public health concern in fact scientists estimate that more than 6 out of every 10 infectious diseases in humans are spread from animals. At GALVmed, we work on a number of zoonotic diseases not only to protect livestock from these diseases but humans as well.