The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) One Health committee has launched its second three-year programme of work, which aims to highlight the role of small companion animals in One Health.

Plans for the project were discussed during a two-day meeting at Duke Medical Centre in Durham, North Carolina, US on June 9 and 10.

The WSAVA is a not-for-profit body, dedicated to enhancing the quality of veterinary care for companion animals around the world in key areas such as one health, continuing education (CE) and nutrition.

Its One Health committee was established in 2010 with a mission of ensuring the prominence of the small companion animal/human interface in the global one health agenda.

During the meeting, committee chairman Michael Day from the University of Bristol, gave a public lecture entitled: “Cats, dogs and humans: one medicine, one health” to take the message directly to the human medical community at Duke.

Delegates then planned a three-year programme of work, visited the comparative oncology research laboratories and met with representatives of North Carolina One Health Collaborative and the US One Health Commission.

“One of three focus areas for the one health committee is comparative and translational clinical research,” explained Prof Day.

“Holding this meeting at one of the major global human health centres was a major step forward in engaging with the human medical community – which remains one of the greatest One Health challenges.

“We need to take every opportunity to promote the benefits to human medicine of investigating shared spontaneously arising diseases in dogs.”

Later in 2014, the committee will host a day on rabies control in Africa at the WSAVA World Congress, which takes place in Cape Town, South Africa, from September 16-19. The fourth annual WSAVA Global One Health Award will also be presented.

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