Posted Dec. 31, 2012
||Dr. Jean-Francois Chary appeals to the AVMA Executive Board for the Association to join the International Bourgelat Committee. (Photo by R. Scott Nolen)
The events related to Vet2011 were developed to celebrate the profession’s 250th anniversary. That, and educate the public about the variety of roles veterinarians fill in promoting animal and public health while also highlighting worldwide professional unity.
Dr. Jean-Francois Chary, inspector general of the French Ministry of Agriculture, was president of the Vet2011 Committee. While speaking before the AVMA Executive Board at its Nov. 15-17, 2012, meeting, he said, “Much more today, veterinarians around the world feel they belong to the same family with the same values and ideals. That’s the success of Vet2011.”
But after the Vet2011 closing ceremony in Cape Town, South Africa, Dr. Chary remembers asking the question, “Now what?”
That’s when he decided to found the International Bourgelat Committee, named after Claude Bourgelat, who founded the first veterinary school, in Lyon, France. The objective of the committee will be “the inventory and preservation of the tangible and intangible scientific and cultural veterinary heritage and its mediation to the widest possible
public.” Every year, the IBC will promote one or more global events featuring the profession. A website will also be created, and each country will have its own section.
“I believe that the conservation and promotion of the historic and scientific heritage of our profession is necessary,” said Dr. Chary, who wants each country to establish its own committee as part of a global effort.
Founding members of the IBC are France, Brazil, Kenya, and Tunisia. Uruguay has since joined, and several other countries are in the process of joining or considering it. Many were waiting to see what the AVMA would do, Dr. Chary said.
The answer came at the November meeting when AVMA board members approved a recommendation from the Committee on International Veterinary Affairs to join the committee for 2013, with ongoing membership thereafter to be determined following evaluation of the committee’s progress sometime this fall. Continuation of membership will require a subsequent recommendation to the board.
Dr. Larry G. Dee, District IV board representative, had expressed concern about the expense of joining the IBC.
“I appreciate what they’re doing, but it sounds like something we can do quite well in this country, and I don’t want to spend members’ money visiting other countries,” he said.
AVMA CEO Ron DeHaven explained that the IBC will meet in conjunction with the annual general session of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) meeting. The AVMA representative on the U.S. delegation to the OIE meeting will also represent the AVMA at the IBC gathering.
Board Chair Janver D. Krehbiel noted that money left over from the AVMA’s Vet2011 fund could be used for the fee for the AVMA to join the IBC, which is about $1,300 a year.