With the valuable collaboration and financial support of Brazilian Authorities and the Brazilian Federal Council of Veterinary Medicine, and the financial contribution of the European Union, the 3rd OIE Global Conference on Veterinary Education, including the role of Veterinary Statutory Bodies (VSBs), will be held in Foz do Iguazu (Brazil) on 4–6 December 2013. The Conference will address the need for better global harmonization of veterinary education worldwide, based on OIE guidelines. It will also focus on strengthening the role of VSBs in regulating veterinarians and veterinary para-professionals, ensuring their quality and ethics.
Activities of Veterinary Services (VS) of quality (comprising their public and private components) are recognised as ‘global public goods’. Quality veterinary education together with effective regulatory VSBs are the cornerstones of good governance of VS. There is an urgent need, particularly in the developing world, to strengthen VS and VSB competence in line with the international standards of the OIE, especially those dealing with quality and good governance.
In many countries, however, the quality of veterinary education falls short, and this problem is worsened by inadequate functioning or even absence of the VSB. In such countries, the veterinary profession has serious difficulty in meeting societal expectations on the public good component of their activities, particularly with respect to veterinary public health, animal welfare and food safety. Recognising these difficulties OIE Members have mandated the organization to take a global leadership role in establishing the minimum veterinary education requirements for effective national VS.
The OIE’s work on good governance and veterinary education is included under the umbrella of the OIE PVS Pathway, established in 2006 to support Member Countries wishing to strengthen their national VS and to comply with OIE quality standards. At the request of Members, the OIE carries out missions to evaluate the performance of Veterinary Services, including veterinary education and VSB performance. As at October 2012 more than 200 national missions had been carried out under the PVS Pathway.
As a follow-up to a PVS evaluation and at the request of Member Countries, the OIE may provide more specific support to improve veterinary education and VSB performance. Amongst the support options available the OIE expects twinning projects between Veterinary Education Establishments (VEEs), and between VSBs to lead to a sustainable improvement in national VS compliance with OIE standards.