ANALYSIS - A record-breaking 1,100 participants from the swine industry are attending the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV) annual conference this week in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, including a strong international group - almost 25 per cent of attendees - representing 29 countries, reports Sarah Mikesell live from the event.
The pre-conference events began Saturday morning and the conference extends through Tuesday with more than 200 presenters on tap to speak about industry issues like pharmaceutical use, swine welfare, food security, zoonoses, reproduction and diagnostics, just to name a few.
Dr. George Charbboneau, swine veterinarian with Southwest Ontario Veterinary Services, speaks to ThePigSite about the AASV program and conference goals.
AASV Program Chair George Charbboneau, practicing swine veterinarian with Southwest Ontario Veterinary Services in Canada, said the AASV program is a key part of their ongoing education initiative for swine veterinarians.
"It's an opportunity to make our practitioners and members aware of issues that are happening within the US industry but also around the world," Dr. Charbboneau said. "We know that issues come up in other parts of the world that can have an impact, and it's a global situation."
Key themes of the event are animal welfare issues, antimicrobial resistance, pharmaceutical management and prudent use of antibiotics.
"This year one of the things that we tried to do with our theme was to think about what it is that we can do as an industry or a profession to try and work together in a more collaborative way. There are so many of these issues that need to be managed as we go forward that any one individual really isn't going to get the job done on their own," he said.
"We need to start building that muscle within our membership of how you relate to people, how you talk to people from different generations, how you talk to people from different genders or other parts of the world and understand where they're coming from, so that we can work collectively as a team to manage issues."
Regarding the international participation, he said AASV welcomes several hundred veterinarians from around the world who are onsite participating in the meeting.
"They join us every year. It's a great opportunity to bring those experiences to our organization and a way to share some information that we've gathered over the year," noted Dr. Charbboneau.