The BVA has joined 21 veterinary associations across the globe in endorsing the World Veterinary Association’s (WVA) position on the Global Climate Change Emergency, which was published in time for World Earth Day (22 April 2021).
To mark World Earth Day, the WVA has highlighted its new position, which recognises that climate change affects the health and welfare of animals. It also recognises that veterinarians, in their role as advocates for animal health and welfare and public health, have a role to play in protecting ecosystem health, and actively working to help mitigate the effects of climate change.
In summary, the position:
- Acknowledges climate change as a global emergency and encourages research, surveillance, and education;
- supports a One Health approach to address climate change and calls for coordination and collaboration;
- urges members of the veterinary profession to research, review and adopt practices that minimise greenhouse gas emissions;
- supports continued research into and adoption of modern, efficient, and sustainable food and animal production techniques;
- urges veterinary associations to build and enhance veterinary capacity to prevent and address consequences associated with climate change, for example extreme weather events and emerging and re-emerging diseases; and
- supports the strengthening of agricultural surveillance and other mitigating measures in agriculture, with emphasis on the role of the veterinary profession in improving animal and public health.
BVA Junior Vice President, Justine Shotton said:
“We know that many of our members care very deeply about environmental issues, with 89 percent of those who took part in a recent Voice of the Veterinary Profession Survey saying that they would like to play a bigger part in the UK’s sustainability agenda.
“BVA is committed to helping support our profession towards a more sustainable future. We continue to contribute to stakeholder discussions, lobbying work and development of resources for ways in which vets can feed into the UK’s sustainability agenda, and we strongly support the WVA’s position on the Global Climate Change Emergency.
“We join WVA in calling on all vets to consider what they can do to help protect the environment, and recommend looking at the ‘Greener Veterinary Practice Checklist’
to help move towards more sustainable ways of working.”