The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) is urging vets around the world to volunteer for outreach projects in Asia.
According to WSAVA, its global outreach initiative aims to share the knowledge and experience of its members around the world by providing an avenue for them to contribute to social development. This year’s volunteer schemes include four projects with the Veterinary Practitioners’ Association of Thailand:
- caring for turtles released in temples by Buddhists in Bangkok
- looking after elephants in the Thai Elephant Conversation Centre in Lampang Province
- providing care such as neutering, vaccination and general health care to the large populations of stray dogs and cats in Thailand’s temples, and
- helping neuter stray dogs and cats on Ko Samet island – one of Thailand’s most popular tourist attractions.
There is also a project from WSAVA’s animal wellness and welfare committee to support communities around Tacloban City in the Philippines – many of which are still recovering from Typhoon Haiyan. Volunteers will assist at neutering clinics, run outpatient clinics and participate in the ongoing campaign to raise awareness of responsible pet ownership, rabies eradication, and animal welfare and disaster.
In addition to volunteering initiatives, WSAVA is also running Continuing Education Faculty Outreach in Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, which aims to bring WSAVA speakers to regions near congress whose vets may not be able to attend.
WSAVA president Colin Burrows said the association’s 2014 outreach initiative in South Africa had a “fantastic response”.
“Our volunteers provided much needed assistance to the not-for-profit organisations we were supporting and many of them told us it had been a life-changing experience for them too,” he said.
“Global Outreach is a key tool in helping us achieve our goal to create a global veterinary community in which we all work together to build a better future for people and animals everywhere. The opportunities on offer this year really are unique and places will fill quickly so we encourage veterinary professionals who are interested to sign up without delay.”