July 01, 2006


 Veterinarians provide insights at unusual venue

Posted June 15, 2006

Drs. Terry Wollen, Robert F. Kahrs, and E. Paul J. Gibbs provided attendees at the 49th Annual Meeting of the Council of Science Editors with information on the role of animals and veterinary medicine in addressing global hunger and poverty. The theme of this year's CSE meeting, held May 19-23 in Tampa, Fla., was Working Toward a Sustainable, Equitable World.

Dr. Linda A. Toth, associate dean of research at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and editor-in-chief for the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, moderated the session, "Veterinary medicine and the alleviation of global poverty."

Dr. Wollen is director of animal well-being and staff veterinarian for Heifer International. His presentation, "Livestock health and husbandry delivery systems in resource-deficient areas of the world," focused on the role that animals can play to alleviate hunger and poverty and provide a sustainable economic base for a family.

Dr. Kahrs is coordinator of Global Initiatives in Veterinary Education for the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. His presentation, "Reaching out and alleviating global poverty through veterinary education," provided an overview of the GIVE program, which establishes long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships between veterinary schools in North America and developing countries.

Dr. Gibbs is a professor in the Department of Pathobiology at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. His presentation, "Emerging zoonotic epidemics in the global community," detailed the overwhelming effects of avian influenza in many poverty-stricken countries and regions, and the massive effort being put forth to combat this devastating disease.

The mission of the CSE is to promote excellence in the communication of scientific information. The CSE comprises more than 1,200 members, many of whom are editors or publishers in fields other than veterinary medicine or animal science. Thus, the presentation at this year's meeting provided the opportunity to educate many of those who are involved in the dissemination of information throughout the scientific communities on the unique involvement of veterinarians in global problems such as hunger and poverty.

The session reflected the important contributions that veterinarians make to society. Highlighting the role of animals and their health care providers is essential to ensuring that animals and veterinary medicine remain an integral part of relief and economic development efforts in poverty-stricken areas or developing countries.