The International Society of Feline Medicine’s European Congress took place recently on the gorgeous Mediterranean island of Malta from the 29thJune – 3rd July 2016. Over 400 attendees from 36 countries, including North America, Australia and Japan attended the 5-day feline conference at the Hilton Hotel in Portomaso. The clinical programme, which focused on feline gastroenterology and feline orthopaedics was complemented by a lively social programme, supported by the congress founding and platinum sponsors, Hill’s Pet Nutrition (founding), Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Ceva and Merial Animal Health, and speaker sponsors Virbac and Agria. The pre-congress day on feline analgesia and anaesthesia proved as much of a draw as the main programme, with packed lectures from start to finish. Masterclasses in feline gastroenterology and feline osteoarthritis and other joint diseases were also extremely popular, with the former selling out and requiring additional sessions to be put on.
Speakers included renowned experts from the UK, Italy and Switzerland. Professor Jacky Reid and Professor Derek Flaherty from the University of Glasgow focused on analgesia and anaesthesia, to include information and a call for help in gathering evidence to inform the new cat HRQOL scale developed by VetMetrica. The feline gastroenterology streams were presented by Dr Alex German of the University of Liverpool and Professor Karin Allenspach, of theRoyal Veterinary College, London. Feline orthopaedics lectures were presented by Professor David Bennett, University of Glasgow, Professor Bruno Peirone, University of Turin and Dr Frank Steffen, of the University of Zurich.
A lively commercial exhibition ran throughout the congress where delegates could find out about the latest products and services from leading suppliers. Attendees were able to mingle at the Hill’s Sunset BBQ and an outdoor cocktail reception following the Bayer mini-symposium. The traditional half-day of congress on Saturday allowed delegates to explore the island and take advantage of the sight-seeing tour of the beautiful Maltese capital, Valletta.
Feedback from the delegates was very positive, with 93% of all delegates rating the overall scientific content of the conference as excellent, very good and good. 95% of all delegates also rated the congress as excellent, very good or good value for money. Comments included, ‘This is the best feline focused conference with wonderful speakers, and diverse attendants’; ‘This kind of congress is the reason I keep getting enthusiastic about my job’; ‘The best feline congress I have ever been to by far’.
Next year’s ISFM European Congress is also the World Feline Congress and comes home to the UK, to the eclectic city of Brighton on the south coast from June 28th to July 2nd, 2017. The venue will be The Grand Hotel on the seafront. Congress topics will include feline endocrinology and cardiorespiratory topics, as well as masterclasses, posters, wet labs and a nursing stream. To register to receive further details as they become available, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.