Veterinarians Essential To ‘Protect And Preserve Public Health’

Lawmakers are being urged to keep veterinarians' business doors open. ( File Photo )

On Thursday, the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) called on lawmakers globally to classify veterinary hospitals and clinics as essential businesses.

“We fully support the risk mitigation measures being introduced as part of the global fight against COVID-19, but we are concerned at reports from some of our members that they have been asked to close their doors. Veterinarians and their teams deliver essential medical care for animals, ensure animal health and welfare, and support the human/companion animal bond by protecting these deep and important relationships,” said Shane Ryan, WSAVA president, in a prepared statement.

“As part of our continuing responsibility to care for our animal patients and their owners, we call on governments to recognize all veterinary hospitals and clinics as essential businesses in any situation in which non-essential businesses are asked to close for COVID-19 risk mitigation.”

The call to action by WSAVA followed a similar request on Sunday by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), which urged lawmakers to recognize veterinarians as essential to protecting and preserving public health.

“While perhaps different from a statutory and regulatory perspective, the training, education, and experience of veterinarians and our staff in disasters are clearly transferrable skills in whatever COVID-19 risk mitigation is deemed necessary,” AVMA said in a letter distributed to its membership. Click here to read the complete statement.

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