Veterinary Public Health

ivsa-scoh-logo-png-300x146The Standing Committee on One Health is a Standing Committee of IVSA which was founded at the 62nd IVSA Congress in Utrech, The Netherlands. The one health concept is directly related to one of IVSA’s objectives, as stated in the Constitution, namely to “Encourage veterinary students to use their knowledge and abilities for the benefit of both animals and humans”

The role of SCOH is twofold: One Health & Veterinary Public Health. SCOH is the organ of the International Veterinary Students’ Association which aims to promote the importance of One Health and the interdisciplinary collaboration between vets and other public health related scientists as well as awareness of the role of Veterinary Public Health.

The role of SCOH is important for IVSA and its members, as it broadens the collaborations of vets, spreads knowledge of veterinary public health, provides opportunities in this sector and promotes activity of the members within local and global projects.

Upcoming events related to VPH and One Health are displayed on our Events Calendar

Access to the latest IVSA VPH Journal: Click here



Veterinary Public Health Officer Report by Rosie Herrington:


A lot has happened recently with regards to Public Health; Brexit has the potential to throw our legislation into the air, One Health is gathering momentum, emerging diseases continue to be a threat and antimicrobial resistance is constantly appearing. So, where is IVSA UK&I being involved in all this?

This October I attended the European Veterinary Students Seminar in order to meet and connect with European IVSA members and other LoVPHO’s. This I felt was necessary more so now than ever with Brexit causing potential strain on relationships. To keep this brief, the take home message from this event was that our European colleagues are still as enthusiastic, friendly and keen to communicate as ever. After being slightly hesitant to discuss Brexit because I was expecting people to be disappointed and maybe a bit spiteful – it was quite the opposite. Of course, our European friends were sad to hear the news we would be leaving them – but everybody was understanding of the situation and interestingly, were especially aware of the demographic of voters. They even looked for a silver lining for us, discussing with me some of the potential benefits we could see. This conference only made me more sure that in the veterinary profession we will continue to work and develop together.


Following on from the conference, one thing that was noticeable was the international recognition of One Health. I have been organising the inaugural National Students One Health Conference which is due to take place this November 12th-13th and we currently have a waiting list of students wishing to take part. This will hopefully be rotated around the vet schools so we can continue to make links with our student friends in other healthcare disciplines. If you want to add your name to the list – check out the Facebook event!

If you are already busy this weekend in November – don’t worry as I am also in the process of organising the academic programme for the World Healthcare Students Symposium due to take place in Rwanda next November. I am the IVSA member on this but there are also members from IFMSA (medicine), IDSA (dentistry), IPSA (pharmacy) as well as their European counterparts. It’s due to be 5 days of fascinating talks on how we can progress healthcare together – as well as have a good time on the social programme. euohs

Lastly, keep an eye out for IVSA’s awareness days. You may have seen from the Facebook page that it was International Rabies Awareness day in September, and that Antimicrobial Resistance Day is coming up in November. We have begun encouraging participation in the Antibiotic Guardian and World Antibiotic Awareness campaign aiming to have guardians at every vet school. Hopefully this will help spread awareness of the dangers of antibiotic misuse – and there’s prizes to be won!

*Details of the successful national One Health Conference can be viewed by scrolling down the pageguardian


IVSA UK & Ireland  President on AMR

World Antibiotic Awareness Week and European Antibiotic Awareness Day 2016


Antimicrobials are essential for the effective treatment of bacterial infections in both animal and human patients. However ever increasing levels of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) threatens to limit our ability to treat such infections, and as such poses an important risk to public health and our profession. The development of resistance may occur naturally within the environment. However the rate of development and spread is being exacerbated by inappropriate and excessive use.

The O’Neil report commissioned by the UK government in 2014 estimated that there were roughly 700,000 human deaths per year occurring due to AMR. However if trends continue this figure is estimated to rise to nearer 10 million by 2050, resulting in a 100 trillion USD cost in lost output (1). As such the global concern caused by this issue has led to an urgent call for action across all sectors to improve education, access and responsible prescription practices.

We have reached a critical point and must act now on a global scale to slow down antimicrobial resistance” – Professor Dame Sally Davies, UK Chief Medical Officer”

Use of antimicrobials within the veterinary profession and particularly food producing animals has repeatedly been thrown into question. However the BVA believe that maintaining availability of antibiotics to veterinary professionals is critical in protecting our patient’s welfare and health (2). As such, it is important that we demonstrate responsible use and act to preserve the antimicrobials already available to us.

The 14th-20th November and 18th November marked the World Antibiotic Awareness Week and European Antibiotic Awareness Day, respectively and aim to raise awareness . In recognition, AVS is supporting the organisation of talks and social media campaigns throughout UK and Ireland veterinary schools. Furthermore we encourage all of our members to pledge to become an Antibiotic Guardian. For more information, resources regarding responsible use can be found on the BVA, BSAVA, BCVA, RUMA and BEVA websites.




The Standing Committee on One Health released their AMR Video on November 20th 2016 to mark the final day of the global Antibiotic Awareness Week. Together with IFMSA and IPSF we want to share this message to encourage students from all over the world to collaborate with each other to fight antimicrobial resistance.

AMR affects us all – get active now!

12th-13th November 2016 saw Edinburgh host the inaugural National Students’ One Health Conference, which was attended by students from universities all over the UK and Ireland (and Austria!). It was amazing to see both students and academics communicating across their disciplines, with a shared interest of creating healthier human and animal populations and environments. Agriculture, Midwifery, Veterinary Medicine, Biomedical sciences and Medicine were just some of the areas of study of the attendees. The list of distinguished speakers included BVA Senior Vice President, Sean Wensley, and the UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Professor Nigel Gibbens CBE. Congratulations to the student- led organising committee, and of course, our very own VPH Officer and the Edinburgh University One Health Society President, Rosie Herrington.

Sean Wensley

Sean Wensley addressing students at The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies