The veterinary profession, which celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2011, has a key role in society now and in the future. Fulfilling this role requires that veterinarians are highly competent and that they respect ethical rules and practices. The principles for professional conduct are the subject of international standards published in the OIE Terrestrial and Aquatic Animal Health Codes, with consensual adoption by all OIE Members.
Society expects that veterinarians demonstrate professional ethics and competence – and this depends on high quality initial and continuing veterinary education to give each veterinarian at least a minimum knowledge on key topics relevant to societal demands (e.g. on animal health, food safety and animal welfare).
Unfortunately, the quality of veterinary education is not acceptable in many countries today. Veterinary education needs to be strengthened globally, notably with respect to:
With the support of its Members, the OIE has become the leading global organisation addressing these and related issues.
Veterinary Services of quality, comprising both public and private sectors, that can implement the OIE standards, are recognised as ‘global public goods’ and there is an urgent need, particularly in the developing world, to strengthen their competence. Veterinary education of quality and effective veterinary statutory bodies are the cornerstones of good governance of Veterinary Services; quality and international harmonisation contribute to improving animal health and welfare globally.
In 2012 the OIE published Recommendations on the Competencies of graduating veterinarians (‘Day 1 graduates’) to assure the quality of national Veterinary Services at the entry-level. These recommendations are relevant to all Member Countries, regardless of the prevailing societal, economic and political circumstances.
The document can be found here.
Resolution 32 – Good governance and veterinary education – identifies future priorities the World Assembly of Delegates would like to see addressed in this area. Included in this resolution are the following recommendations:
Relevant provisions on the quality of veterinary services may be found in the OIE Terrestrial Code Chapter 3.1. and, with particular reference to the obligations of veterinarians when providing animal health certification, in Chapter 5.2.