Now more than ever the veterinary profession has a crucial role to play in protecting both animals and humans, so the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and World Veterinary Association (WVA) are intensifying their collaboration to support and further enhance the profession.

On 27 January 2015, OIE Director General, Dr Bernard Vallat, met WVA President, Dr René Carlson, for the first time since her recent election, at OIE Headquarters in Paris with a view to furthering their collaboration. The two organisations, already bound by a cooperation agreement for almost 15 years, reviewed the priorities they wished to establish together and discussed possible changes to their cooperation agreement. The WVA reiterated its commitment to promoting the OIE’s objectives and implementing all its animal health and welfare standards, while the OIE reiterated its continued involvement in supporting and enhancing both the work of veterinarians in the field and close collaboration between public and private sector veterinarians, in line with WVA objectives.
The two organisations, which are deeply committed to many common issues, including the prevention and control of zoonoses, animal welfare, antimicrobial resistance, the “One Health" concept and veterinary education, both stress the vital role that veterinarians play in all these areas. As they benefit people everywhere, as well as future generations, the majority of veterinary activities should be considered as a global public good.

The excellence of the veterinary profession must therefore be guaranteed by proper training and closely monitored ethical standards. This requires the harmonisation of veterinary education worldwide and the existence of veterinary statutory bodies in full compliance with OIE standards. To this end, the OIE recently published the following texts, after consultation with its Member Countries:

·         Recommendations on the Competencies of Graduating Veterinarians ('Day 1 Graduates') to assure National Veterinary Services of Quality.

·         Guidelines on a Veterinary Education Core Curriculum aimed mainly at developing and in-transition countries.

·         Guide to Veterinary Statutory Body Twinning Projects.

In addition, the OIE will soon publish the first database listing all veterinary education establishments worldwide declared by OIE Member Countries. For its part, the WVA is working on the global harmonisation of continuing veterinary education.

Dr Vallat and Dr René Carlson reiterated the need to strengthen collaboration between public and private veterinarians at national level. To further this goal, the World Veterinary Day Award has been held jointly by the OIE and WVA every year since 2008 to highlight the veterinary profession’s contribution to addressing societal concerns. The theme selected for the 2015 award is "vector-borne diseases with zoonotic potential". Applications can be submitted as from February 2015 and will be open to all WVA veterinary association members, either alone or jointly with another veterinary body. Details of how to enter the competition will soon be published on the OIE and WVA web sites. The winner of the 2015 award will be announced at the opening ceremony of the 83rd OIE General Session to be held in Paris (France) on 24 May 2015. The winner will be invited to receive the award at the World Veterinary Congress, scheduled to take place in Istanbul (Turkey) from 13 to 17 September 2015.