The FVE is the European umbrella organization for veterinarians in wider Europe. Founded in 1975, FVE represents 46 national organizations in 38 countries, including all 27 Member States of the European Union. It also includes 4 Sections , each of which represent key groups within the veterinary medical profession: practitioners, hygienists (meat inspection), state veterinary officers (regulatory), and veterinarians in education, research, and industry. Through these member organizations, the FVE represents approximately 200,000 veterinarians. They have their General Assembly twice a year, one in the fall in Brussels (where the FVE is headquartered), and one in the spring which rotates being hosted by one of the member countries.
This meeting was in Brussels, Belgium (I would never have believed I would ever be traveling to Brussels!) and what a lovely city it is! Belgium is best known for its over 700 varieties of (delicious!) beer, (exquisite!) chocolate, and (exceptional!) lace. But business is business. I was there from Wednesday to Saturday, a quick trip for meetings, and had only one-half day for walking around the city and experiencing life in Brussels. On Thursday I met with FVE officers to discuss (you guessed it) issues of mutual interest. These included our three recently published Joint Statements on Animal Welfare, Responsible and Judicious Use of Antimicrobials, and Veterinary Medical Education. We, the AVMA and the FVE, are both members of the World Veterinary Association and want to see that organization continue to improve in its mission to improve the veterinary medical profession around the world.
On Friday the FVE hosted a summit on “Antimicrobials: A True One Health Issue” (scroll down the page a bit). At the end of the speakers’ program, I participated in a seven person roundtable discussion giving the AVMA perspective. On Saturday, I presented our Joint Statements to the FVE General Assembly and the significance of our working together to produce these joint positions. It was indeed an honor for me to meet with their leadership and to represent the AVMA. You can be very proud of our reputation around the world. We must not rest on those laurels, however, but continue to be at the global table on issues of influence to veterinary medicine as it affects us here in the United States.
I wish everyone a special Thanksgiving Day.