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European Pig Vets Form New Association

by 5m Editor
4 June 2010, at 12:04pm

EU - European pig vets have decided to set up a new association, the European Association of Porcine Health Management (EAPHM).

The objectives of the new association are primarily educational to increase contact and interaction across an increasingly borderless Europe but also to represent its interests and views on increasingly important aspects of welfare, health and production that are on the horizon.


EAPHM's first President, John Mackinnon

It was felt that although the European College of Porcine Health Management already existed, its focus was more on education, research and through a series of internships, the development of new researchers and pig specialist diplomates for the future. This left the practitioner side under-represented and without a harmonised post-graduate education, as well as life-long learning opportunities. In order to rectify this, it was approved at the recent College's symposium in Hanover vet school in Germany to form the new Association based on a working party's recommendations.

The working group, headed by Jens Christian Eskjaer Jensen from Orion, with representatives from Germany, Spain, Belgium, Denmark and France, supported by key pharmaceutical representatives from Intervet SP, Merial, Boehringer Ingelheim, Pfizer and Eurovet, was set up to look into this in September 2009 after the successful symposium in Copenhagen. They brought their proposals forward and they were fully adopted in Hanover. John Mackinnon, an experienced practising veterinarian from the UK, was installed as the first new President and the supporting board members are Dominiek Maes (Belgium), Peter Hogedal Jorgensen (Denmark), Antonio Palomo Yague (Spain), Jean-Luc Sevin (France) and substitute members Rick Janssen (Netherlands) and Jan Bernardy (Czech Republic).

Further sub-committees will be set up on education, external relations, internal communication (its own web site), student support and liaison and it is anticipated to have an annual congress, alongside the College's symposium, the first being in Helsinki, Finland in May 2011 under the supervision of Professor Olli Peltoniemi and the next in Ghent, Belgium under Professor Dominiek Maes in May 2012. Membership of the Association will be open for all veterinarians at the beginning of 2011 and it is hoped to produce their own scientific journal in the future.

As well as representing and supporting its own industry, the Association is keen to work closely with other European national associations and societies, such as the UK's PVS, as the support and involvement of these organisations are essential for the success of the EAPHM. In addition the Association wishes to forge close links with other continental and international associations such as the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, Asian Pig Veterinary Society, South American Pig Veterinary Society and International Pig Veterinary Society. The Federation of Vets in Europe (FVE) has also welcomed this development, as there is little farm species representation in Europe and would be a useful source of reference.

John Mackinnon said: "Europe produces over 250 million pigs and is the second biggest pig producing region after China. It is now time to come together to assist our industry to cope with the many changes coming, especially regarding welfare, as well as improving the health and efficiency of our producers. We are facing a lot of new pressures regarding welfare, such as removal of gestation stalls, castration procedures etc. which will require significant management changes in the near future.

"We also face health challenges from swine fever and African swine fever on our borders and we should be better positioned to have a European forum to cope with the potential introduction of new diseases, similar to the PMWS scenario. At a time of increasing global trade and challenges it is important that, as veterinarians, we fulfil our role in maintaining the health, welfare and sustainability of our industry in Europe."

For further information and expression of interest in joining the association, contact Professor Maes.