BSAVA Congress 2014 closed yesterday after a hugely successful four-day event packed with thought-provoking lectures and top-class CPD for the whole practice team.
The 2014 event, which saw a record-breaking 6,286 delegates (as of Saturday evening) attend the association’s lecture streams at Birmingham’s International Conference Centre (ICC) and exhibition at the National Indoor Arena (NIA), was president Michael Day’s swan song and took its theme from his year in charge: A Global Outlook.
Speaking at the opening press conference, Prof Day explained: “The application of knowledge is proven to be one of the key sources of growth in the global economy. There is a term for it: the so-called ‘knowledge economy’, where organisations and people acquire and share knowledge for greater economic and social development.
“Sharing knowledge has a very real impact, and the result of this can often be seen quite quickly. This is what our guests will illustrate so well for us today: how sharing knowledge is not an intellectual exercise, but an action that both improves animal welfare and saves human lives.
He went on: “My presidential theme this year has been ‘BSAVA: a global outlook’, and I am grateful to be part of an organisation that embraces that philosophy for all the right reasons. Of course, just as we have our knowledge to share, our overseas colleagues have plenty to impart too. We’d be very foolish to think what happens elsewhere does not have an impact here.”
This global focus ran throughout congress, particularly in the “Big Issues” stream on Friday, which saw topics as diverse as the Pet Travel Scheme, the illegal importing of puppies from eastern Europe, an update on The Small Animal Veterinary Surveillance Network (SAVSNET), and an opportunity for vet Luke Gamble to introduce delegates to Mission Rabies and explain his involvement in the massive vaccination effort taking place throughout India.
Prof Day also took time out on Friday to help introduce a new neutering course working with Scooby, an animal refuge in the Medina del Campo area of Spain. However, unlike other charity neutering courses, this one has been especially designed for BSAVA members to help new graduates get valuable experience in neutering soon after qualifying, or as a refresher for vets returning to practice after a career break.
All this, as well as the usual scientific programme – providing world-class CPD for vets, nurses and practice managers – ensured this year’s congress was as essential as ever.
And don’t forget: if, for any reason, you missed out on any of the lectures you had hoped to attend, BSAVA will make proceedings available to download as MP3 files from April 15.