What does the SAVA do for its members, for our colleagues, for the public?
Wat doen die SAVV vir sy lede, vir ons kollegas en die publiek?
When one reads the authorative book by Bigalke and Verwoerd “Onderstepoort 1908 – 2008, one is immediately impressed by the essential role that veterinarians played not only in the control of animal diseases but as pillars of society that made economic growth and human survival possible. And this is even more so today, also embarking into the spheres of sport, companion animals and wildlife.
To protect and promote this professional pivot of society, is the calling of the SAVA as enunciated in its Mission Statement:
“The South African Veterinary Association aims to serve its members and to further the status and image of the veterinarian.We are committed to upholding the highest professional and scientific standards, and to utilising the professional knowledge, skill and resources of our members, to foster close ties with the community and thus promote the health and welfare of animals and mankind”.
Cardinal to success is knowledge. The distribution and accessibility of new information is thus a major objective of the SAVA. This is accomplished by organising national, regional and specialised congresses continuously and distributing contemporary information through its publications the “scientific Journal of the SAVA” and the more popular “VetNews”. In addition, the SAVA solicits Continuing Professional Development articles from specialists that are published in VetNews. The questions can be answered electronically and is a convenient way to earn CPD points. Similarly, it is realised that the profession functions within a particular social, economic and legal environment. This poses threats but also provides opportunities to promote the collective interests of all veterinarians. This requires consistent and intimate engagement with Official organisations such as the Faculty of Veterinary Science, the Veterinary Council, State Departments such as Agriculture and Health; all of whom command legal authority that can affect the profession either positively or negatively. In the same vein, international co-operation is of vital importance in order to collectively pursue the concept of ‘One world One health One medicine’ and ensure food safety and security.
As verantwoordelike individue het veeartse, kollektief en individueel ook ‘n morele plig teenoor die menslike en diere gemeenskappe waarin ons woon. Daarom is dit ons roeping om ook leiding aan die publiek te gee met betrekking tot gesonde mens-dier verhoudings – ongeag of dit produksie, sport of geselskapsdiere is. Om hieraan uitvoering te gee, verg ‘n deurlopende proses van beleidontwikkeling en doeltreffende kommunikasie met die publiek. As bewys van ons sosiale verantwoordelikheid is die “Community Veterinary Clinics” (CVC) program ontwikkel wat tans ‘n baie suksesvolle diens aan arm gemeenskappe lewer, wat nie andersins tot veterinêre sorg toegang sou hê nie. Die SAVV is ook al meer daarop toegespits om unieke dienste aan sy lede te lewer soos professionele versekering, motor aankoop voordele en kliënte krediet beheer.
Finally, major breakthroughs in science and otherwise are often made by dedicated and enthusiastic individuals and it is imperative to accord them commensurate recognition. The SAVA has therefore over the years developed awards such as the Gold Medal, President’s Award, Boswell Award, Soga Medal and others, to give recognition to members who have made major contributions to the standing of the Association and the profession. “Prestinae Vurtitus Memores”