April 15, 2007


 Veterinarians head to Western conference

Posted April 1, 2007


The 79th Annual Western Veterinary Conference was attended by more than 6,350 veterinarians, 1,400 veterinary technicians, and 1,100 hospital managers, administrators, shelter personnel, and veterinary students. More than 800 participants from Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China, Canada, and other parts of the globe attended the conference.

Held Feb. 18-22 at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Convention Center in Las Vegas, the conference featured more than 460 exhibitors in its trade show, for a total of 13,236 participants. In addition, the WVC offered nearly 800 hours of lectures, symposia, and interactive laboratories.

"The 79th annual Western Veterinary Conference was characterized by a particularly strong scientific program that kept attendees interested and engaged in diverse aspects of veterinary medicine," said Dr. Stephen W. Crane, WVC executive director.

"Hands-on bio-skills development sessions were very popular, with the great majority of them being sold out," Dr. Crane said. "A new offering in 2007 was forensic pathology for gaining knowledge and practicing skills relating to acquiring and protecting medico-legal evidence."

The conference provided a wide variety of education, which spanned across all animal species. A new Web site to spread awareness about feline heartworm disease—www.knowheartworms.org—debuted at the conference. The site offers veterinarians and pet owners information regarding the danger of the newly defined heartworm-associated respiratory disease in cats (see JAVMA, Feb. 15, 2007).

Also for the first time, the 2007 WVC trade show featured the "Livestock Roundup," a section of the trade show dedicated to exhibitors with food animal products.

The WVC Student Scholarship program, which has awarded more than $650,000 in financial aid, gave $2,500 scholarships to 32 students from all U.S. and Canadian veterinary colleges. Moreover, each scholarship recipient received a stipend to attend this year's conference.

Recipients for the 2007 Western Veterinary Conference Food Animal Incentive Award are Drs. Rachel Batizy, Colorado State University; Vengai Mavangira, University of Missouri-Columbia; Michael Miller, University of Pennsylvania; Erin Robinson, Washington State University; Katherine Whitman, University of Georgia; and Jennifer Zambriski, University of Georgia. The annual award is presented to veterinarians engaged in a university or private practice internship in food animal medicine, surgery, production medicine, theriogenology, or epidemiology. The award is for the recipient to attend the WVC.

The 2007-2008 board of directors includes Drs. James W. Furman, Alliance, Neb., president; Ann Johnson, Urbana, Ill., president-elect; William D. Fortney, Manhattan, Kan., immediate past president; and Robert A. Smith, Stillwater, Okla., vice president. Newly elected board members are Drs. James F. Peddie, Ventura, Calif., and William S. Swafford, Lees Summit, Mo.

The 2008 conference is scheduled for Feb. 17-21. For more information, contact the WVC at (702) 739-6698, e-mail info@wvc.org, or visit www.wvc.org.