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Brussels, 24 April 2009

Questions and Answers on the World Veterinary Day celebration in Brussels

What is the World Veterinary Day?

The World Veterinary Day was introduced by the World Veterinary Association (founded in 1906) in the year 2000, to be commemorated on the last Saturday of April, usually with an accompanying theme. This year, World Veterinary Day is on April 25 and the theme is “Veterinarians and Livestock Farmers: A Winning Partnership”.

The World Veterinary Day serves as an opportunity to celebrate the contribution of veterinarians to society. Indeed, veterinarians play a crucial role in the link between animals, their owners and society at large, and are responsible not only for animal health, but also animal welfare, public health, food safety and food security.

In 2008, the World Veterinary Association and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) agreed on the creation of the World Veterinary Day Award aimed at rewarding the most successful celebration of the veterinary profession by national veterinary associations, alone, or in cooperation with any other selected veterinary body. The 2009 Award will be delivered at the 77th OIE General Assembly to be held in Paris, France on 24-29 May 2009.

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What is happening this year on World Veterinary Day?

There will be a number of events taking place all over the world to celebrate the World Veterinary Day. In Brussels, the European Commission's Directorate General for Health and Consumers (DG SANCO) will organise an event in front of the European Commission building on Friday 24 April. The Commission's "One Health" roadshow will be present to promote the work of EU veterinarians to the general public and to explain the concept of "One Health" or in other words how animal health is linked to human health.

What does "One Health" mean?

The term "One Health" and the slogan "Animals + Humans = One Health" has been coined to highlight the link between public and animal health. Indeed animal diseases are having an increasing impact on public health. It is for this reason that high standards of animal health have a positive impact on human health and consumer wellbeing.

What is the "One Health" roadshow?

The "One Health" roadshow of DG SANCO is a customised vehicle which has been travelling around the EU since the start of the 2008 edition of the EU Veterinary Week, on Monday 10 November in Brussels. The main goal of the roadshow is to promote the "One Health" concept. This has been illustrated by explaining the importance of biosecurity measures both on the farm and at borders. The intention is to raise awareness about biosecurity at farm-level, where the importance of vaccination in preventing diseases has been highlighted. In addition, another aim was to remind travellers entering or exiting the EU of the animal health risks involved when bringing in pets or animal products, such as cheese or meat, from certain countries outside of the EU. To achieve these aims, the roadshow customised vehicle has been visiting agricultural and tourism fairs around the EU since November 2008. For more information, vist

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