The new WSAVA president has pledged to continue driving up standards of veterinary care globally after being elected at this year’s WSAVA World Congress in Colombia.

Walt Ingwersen
Canadian vet Walt Ingwersen was elected president at the WSAVA World Congress 2016.

Canadian vet Walt Ingwersen, a former member of the WSAVA executive board, told delegates: “We have come a long way in a short time, but there is much more to do and we have ambitious plans to continue to drive up standards of veterinary care globally, as well as achieve the fundamental goal of the WSAVA strategic plan, which is to develop our members into an engaged and collaborative community.

Make ourselves heard

“We also intend to our make our voice heard on issues that affect our members and impact their ability to care for their patients to the highest standards.

“Our campaign against the proposed rescheduling of ketamine and our new initiative to secure the availability of medicinal products for companion animals to veterinarians wherever they are working are examples of this.

“We are a global family and, by working together, can make a real difference to the veterinary care of companion animals worldwide. It will be an exciting two years and I am honoured to have this opportunity to serve our profession.”

Global microchip standard

Following qualification from Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) and a year in general small animal practice, Dr Ingwersen returned to the OVC for four years of postgraduate training.

He followed this with 12 years in general and referral practice in Canada, before going on to hold a range of non-clinical roles. Among his achievements, he helped develop and popularise the Global ISO microchip standard and bring it to North America – a project that brought him into contact with the WSAVA for the first time.

He became involved in volunteer veterinary medicine while working with the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association, the Canadian Veterinary Medicine Association and the American Animal Hospital Association. He is a technical services vet with Boehringer Ingelheim Canada.

Pain council

Dr Ingwersen’s first role with the WSAVA was as a member of its microchip committee in 1996. He later worked as its news editor and webmaster, and joined the executive board in 2008 as honorary secretary – a position he held for four years.

In 2013, he led the creation of the WSAVA global pain council and remains an active member of this WSAVA committee. As president, he will lead the delivery of the WSAVA’s strategic plan, which is focused on engaging the association’s growing membership into an active, connected and supportive global community of veterinary peers.

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