WSAVA Monthly NEWs – December, 2004

In Memoriam - Ray Markus, DVM Dr. Ray Markus, a veterinary pioneer and long-standing friend of the veterinary profession, passed away on October 28, 2004 secondary to complications resulting from a long-time struggle with cancer.

Ray’s passing is the final chapter in a remarkable veterinary career that spanned 4 decades. Following graduation from the Ontario Veterinary College, Ray emigrated from Canada to Israel where he was a pioneer in elevating the standards of companion animal medicine, beginning with the establishment of one of the first practices in Jerusalem dedicated to companion animals and providing mentorship to many newly graduated veterinary practitioners who carried on his tradition of practice excellence. A firm believer in companion animal continuing education (CE), he facilitated local meetings amongst colleagues and was a founding member of the Israel Companion Animal Veterinary Association (ICAVA), going on to serve as its President for a number of years. Ray also had a long-standing relationship with the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA), beginning as the ICAVA representative to the WSAVA Assembly, subsequently chairing the organizing committee of the 1996 WSAVA World Congress in Jerusalem, and being the inaugural editor of the WSAVA website. It was during his time as Congress organizer, that Ray utilized the congress website to facilitate providing wet-lab CE with strong industry support and realized the potential of web-based CE. This led to the establishment of Inno-Vet, one of the pioneer on-line veterinary dedicated CE portals.
Ray had an unbridled passion for veterinary medicine and a clear vision on his role in bettering it, principally through CE and collegiality. He was untiring in his efforts and tenacious in their implementation. He will be missed by all in the WSAVA community and by the profession as a whole, but his legacy lives on.

WSAVA Activities and Committee Reports
WSAVA Continuing Education Committee
Three key committee members – Drs. Gabriel Varga, Roger Clarke, and Larry Dee – provided updates on global WSAVA CE initiatives to the WSAVA Assembly on October 5, 2004. The CE project represented the largest WSAVA initiative, both financially and in terms of number of attendees. In 2003 there were 32 meetings in 28 countries with over 5000 delegates attending. Special recognition and thanks were given to the CE sponsors – Bayer, Hills, Intervet, and Waltham – as well as to the speakers who were part of the program. Additionally, thanks were provided to WSAVA member associations from Austria, Norway, and Greece who had also sponsored parts of the program. Areas of focus have been South America, Cuba, Eastern Europe, Iran, India, and Asia (Malaysia, Thailand, China).

WSAVA Microchip Committee
In his report to the WSAVA Assembly, WSAVA Microchip Committee chair Marc Buchet highlighted the committee’s priorities and ongoing efforts to ensure that the benefits of this useful technology are available to all WSAVA member associations. To this end, various committee members have a seat on the International Standards Organization’s (ISO) working group (WG3) which has been given the task of developing global standards for this evolving technology. A common technological infrastrutcture (embodied in two standards – 11784 and 11785) has been developed by 1SO and in place for over 8 years now. These standards have been adopted and implemented in much of Europe, in Australia, Japan, and Canada however competitive forces have limited implementation in the USA, despite widespread user group support. The WSAVA has written letters supporting the efforts of user groups to solve this limitation in technology provision and have offered to assist in any way that may be helpful – and this offer applies to other fledgling countries. One way the committee has assisted user groups is through the provision of factual information on the nature of the technology and benefits of the ISO standards. Additional efforts are being expended to work towards a more global pet recovery system through a common, easy to access, and robust database network. Other projects include refining the current EU legislation governing Pet Passports to ensure that its definition better support unique animal identification, ensuring that microchip readers continue to bridge the gap between old and new technology via the availability of multi-read readers, and assisting the ISO WG3 with the development of standards governing more advanced applications of this technology and performance review criteria (which would provide a valuable consumer advocacy function).

NEWS From Around the World
Japan – In a news report from the Kyodo World Service, officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries reported the decision to implement, as of November 6, 2004, new rules regarding the importation of dogs and cats that effectively bans the entry of puppies and kittens less than 10 months of age due to concerns over the importation of rabies virus. Dogs and cats entering the country that are older than 10 months of age will have to demonstrate proof of age, place of birth, and vaccination against rabies (including a booster vaccination) that is linked to the animal in question with microchip identification.

WSAVA/FIAVAC/AMMVEPE 2005 Congress Update
It has been 34 years – 1971 – since Mexico City played host to the WSAVA World Congress and the AMMVEPE has been making plans for their next opportunity to play host ever since. The 2005 Congress will take place at the Centro BANAMEX, the most modern Congress and Exhibit Center in Latin America. This year’s host AMMVEPE, has organized a scientific program that features over 110 speakers providing CE in 9 simultaneous rooms resulting in a total of 252 lectures to choose from. All lectures will be provided in simultaneous translation – either Spanish to English or vice versa. Additionally, precongress symposia are planned on the topics of ophthalmology and critical care. And when your appetite for knowledge has been satisfied, relax and enjoy the various social events that highlight each congress evening. Please visit the congress website for further CE and social functions details, as well as registration and lodging information. Don’t delay because the Congress is only 5 months away!

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