The World Veterinary Association created World Veterinary Day in 2000 as an annual celebration of the veterinary profession, falling on the last Saturday of April. Each year, the WVA and World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) choose a theme for the event.
“The recent Ebola epidemic as well as the too numerous human deaths caused each year by rabies, dreadfully remind us of the strong links existing between the health of people, animals and environment and consequently the need for multi-sectoral approaches illustrated through the ‘One Health’ concept,” according to the announcement for World Veterinary Day 2016.
The announcement states that the theme for the year “focuses on how veterinarians continue their education efforts to increase their expertise on One Health topics, such as zoonotic diseases, food safety or antimicrobial resistance, and how they collaborate with the human health sector to tackle these issues.”
The WVA and OIE confer the World Veterinary Day Award for the most successful contribution on the annual theme by a WVA member association working alone or in cooperation with other veterinary groups.
In 2015, World Veterinary Day raised awareness of vector-borne diseases with zoonotic potential. The College of Veterinarians of Costa Rica and Costa Rican National Animal Health Service won the 2015 World Veterinary Day Award for a campaign to promote awareness and prevention of equine encephalitis and West Nile fever.
Details about World Veterinary Day and the World Veterinary Day Award are available here.