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THE EVOLVING IMPORTANCE of VETERINARY MEDICINE in AQUATIC ANIMAL HEALTH MANAGEMENT American Fisheries Society – Fish Health Section Atlantic Veterinary.

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Presentation on theme: "THE EVOLVING IMPORTANCE of VETERINARY MEDICINE in AQUATIC ANIMAL HEALTH MANAGEMENT American Fisheries Society – Fish Health Section Atlantic Veterinary."— Presentation transcript:

1 THE EVOLVING IMPORTANCE of VETERINARY MEDICINE in AQUATIC ANIMAL HEALTH MANAGEMENT American Fisheries Society – Fish Health Section Atlantic Veterinary College, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, July 10 th, 2008

2 Panel Discussion Genesis Ongoing discussion since the 1960s on the role(s) of veterinarians in aquaculture health management. Bacterial & microbial parasite infections in farmed salmonids… development of prescription treatments. Evolution of aquaculture species diversification, intensification of production & global trade. Growing need for similar support systems for farmed aquatic animals as provided for terrestrial animals. The vet/non-vet debates: FAO, AFS-FHS, OIE, WAS conclude both veterinary & non-vet expertise needed. Canadas NAAHP - the search for aquatic veterinarians - 20% of national expertise recruited to federal program delivery… triggers search for more expertise to replace losses to provinces & industry.

3 The Panel Chair: Dr. Sharon McGladdery, The Panel Chair: Dr. Sharon McGladdery, Director, Aquatic Animal Health Division, CFIA, Canada Dr. Brian Evans– Chief Veterinary Officer for Canada Mr. Kevin Amos– USA National Aquatic AnimalHealth Plan (NAAHP) Co-Chair Dr. Larry Hammell – AVC Veterinary Epidemiologist Dr. Leighanne Hawkins – Cooke Aquaculture Veterinarian Dr. David Scarfe– American Veterinary Medical Association Dr. Ron Thune– Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University

4 What Opportunities are out there? Government Federal - inspection, regulatory, policy, trade negotiation, program development. Province/State-aquaculture management, outbreak/detection response coordination with industry & federal government authorities. Private Practice Aquaculture veterinarian – fish health management, biosecurity. Consultant – research proposals, farm management advice. Ornamental/Aquarium practitioner – stock management, advice,

5 What Opportunities are there? (contd) Corporate Veterinarian Company- feed, fish farming, drug Academia Teaching- epidemiology, pathology, husbandry Graduate Studies- finfish, molluscan, crustacean & marine mammal health Diagnostics & Research Laboratory work, sample collection, etc New pathogens, husbandry for new species coming into domestication, risk analysis, epidemiology, etc..

6 Opportunities and needs for aquatic animal veterinary expertise are increasing… but actual recruitment remains limited. Panel discussion revolved around: 1.Why? 2.What can be done? 3.Who should be doing this?

7 Why? 1.DVMs graduate with significant financial burdens (tuition & related expenses). So, unless employment is well-funded and secure, it is not attractive to new graduates. 2.Direct aquaculture industry employment remains limited to large companies and is predominantly contractual. 3.Government employment is increasing but is less attractive to new graduates who want to work with animals directly related to their DVM training. 4.Many Veterinary Colleges do not have aquatic animal health on their curricula as a career choice during DVM training. 5.Some veterinarians undertake aquatic work as a side-duty to their principle small or large animal practice, but self identify as small/large animal practitioners (e.g., USA). 6.Most jobs in aquatic animal medicine are in rural, coastal areas; whereas, most DVM students come from urban settings.

8 What can be done? 1.Self-promotion of veterinary work on aquatic animals. Some panellists noted that DVMs tend not to self-promote. This is a tradition for all medical professions, but requires re-thinking. 2.Encourage aquatic animal industries to include DVMs in their team of expertise supporting production & encourage DVMs to work in multi-disciplinary teams (a slight paradigm shift from traditional practices). 3.Include aquatic animal health management regulation and enforcement in DVM curricula to expand Government employment options for DVMs who may have this interest. 4.Include aquatic animal health training in modules provided to graduate DVMs as an option for ongoing career development. 5.Provide training for rural & coastal community veterinarians so they can effectively include aquatic animal work as part of their small or large animal practices.

9 Who should be doing this? 1.OIE - Continue to encourage member country Veterinary Authorities to support development of aquatic animal health infrastructures for their industries. 2.National Authorities (Veterinary, Fisheries, Enviornment, etc.) – Recruit the veterinary expertise required to build on traditional aquatic animal health resources and disciplines. Offer internships to expand DVM undergraduate employment horizons. 3.Industry – Explore the value-added of veterinary expertise as a member of core production team. Aquaculture day-to-day health management measures supports productivity & market access; Processing sector support for health certification for commodities. 4.Veterinary Associations and Colleges – Ensure training (undergraduate and for DVM professionals) includes aquatic animal health modules that support above initiatives; and aquatic industry internship opportunities.

10 Who should be doing this (continued) ? 1.Aquatic Veterinarians – Explore opportunities for internships for DVM students, &/or provide mentorship to DVM professionals who are considering career re- direction. Promote the picturesque settings where aquatic industries are based, and the associated life- style benefits. 2.Non-Aquatic Veterinarians – Explore aquatic options for mid-career evaluation of direction (needs training module support or mentorship as above).

11 Aquatic Who should be doing this (continued)? World Veterinary Association – Continue to include and expand aquatic animal medicine in international meetings and association information media.

12 Benefits of a career in aquatic animal medicine Muchas Gracias

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