WVA Declaration of Incheon
on the Role of the Veterinary Profession in One Health and EcoHealth Initiatives
One of the World Veterinary Congress 2017 outcomes is the VETERINARY VISION 2050 Declaration to emphasize the professional and societal roles of veterinarians in One Health networks to overcome current and future challenges. The Veterinary Vision 2050 was prepared by the Vet-Vision 2050 Committee (composed by representatives from the 33rd WVC Organizing Committee, WVA six geographic regions and from the International Veterinary Students’ Association), and with input received from WVA Members, other stakeholders, and Congress delegates.
On 10th December 2017, WVA Council adopted the Veterinary Vision Declaration as the WVA Declaration of Incheon on the Role of the Veterinary Profession in One Health and EcoHealth Initiatives.
The veterinary profession of 2050 will be highly skilled, educated, and trusted with expertise in One Health and EcoHealth initiatives.
- One Health is the integrative effort of multiple disciplines working locally, nationally, regionally, and globally to attain optimal health for people, animals, and the environment.
- A broad, intersectional, and interdisciplinary holistic approach is essential to develop effective solutions to One Health issues.
- The optimal health of people, animals, and the environment cannot be secured without understanding the context of ecosystems that are connected by social,economic, biological, and physical links.
- The veterinary profession plays a critical role in activities that address health risks at the animal-human-environmental interfaces within ecosystems that range in scale from local to global levels. Examples of such activities include:
- reducing global hunger;
- ensuring food quality and safety (especially of animal source foods);
- active disease surveillance;
- early detection and control of zoonotic outbreaks;
- assessing and managing biosecurity risks;
- understanding the significant and varied impacts of the human-animal bond on human lives.
- Activities related to domestic animals include:
- promoting animal welfare, including the education of animal caretakers;
- overseeing the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease;
- assuring appropriate animal production business practices;
- providing clinical and population health expertise for all animals;
- using antimicrobials responsibly for the benefit of animal welfare while preventing and combatting antimicrobial resistance.
- Activities contributing to ecological health include:
- protecting biodiversity;
- controlling the movement of exotic species and diseases;
- enhancing pathogen surveillance and disease prevention in wild animal populations;
- promoting the conservation of natural resources and conservation medicine;
- adapting One Health initiatives to regional climate change.
- In accordance with the World Veterinary Association’s policy statement on One Health, this declaration is intended to set guidelines for veterinarians working as knowledgeable consultants and guardians of EcoHealth, on which the health and well-being of animals and humans is dependent.
Roles of the Veterinary Profession
- Trust in the veterinary profession for the greater public good is based on the ethical behavior of the profession. The veterinary profession is responsible and accountable for sustaining the highest ethical standards, supporting effective regulatory bodies in the appropriate jurisdictions.
- The success of the One Health approach to complex challenges depends on active engagement in policy development. Therefore, the veterinary profession
must make a concerted effort to put more emphasis on expertise directly related to One Health policies.
- One Health and EcoHealth have different origins, yet both aim to mitigate the risks that threaten ecosystems and public health. Veterinarians are leaders in incorporating an awareness and understanding of ecosystem connectedness into the One Health approach.
- Personal and professional leadership are essential qualities for members of the veterinary profession. These qualities are based on understanding the biophysical and socioeconomic links between human, animal, and environmental health. In addition to scientific knowledge and clinical skills, team leadership through professional ethics, communication, collaboration, and professional wellness strengthens societal confidence and trust in the veterinary profession.
- The diverse roles of the veterinary profession are facilitated by the selection and education of a broad range of applicants to veterinary schools. This provides the profession with broader perspectives and expanded skills in the One Health and EcoHealth approach. Education programs including these concepts in professional veterinary curricula and in continuous professional development programs ensure that veterinarians are qualified leaders in One Health initiatives.
- The veterinary profession assertively advocates for and protects the welfare of all animals living in all environments. Veterinarians are educated to skillfully evaluate animal health and welfare, which are dependent upon proper housing, management, nutrition, disease prevention and treatment, responsible care, and humane handling.
- Members of the veterinary profession are valued for their comprehensive education and expertise within health care professional networks, and are respected leaders in multidisciplinary teams. Global food security and access to safe water are examples of major health concerns in the 21st century that will require an interdisciplinary approach incorporating welfare, health, economic, social, and environmental sciences.
- The World Veterinary Association (WVA) is the global voice of the veterinary profession, along with its partners in the One Health approach, working to establish guidance and policy for the benefit of the welfare of animals, humans, and the environment.