New President for WSAVA

Colin Burrows with his dog, Buster

Professor Colin Burrows, President Elect of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA), has been elected as President with effect from 1 November 2013.  Professor Burrows, a British national, is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine and former CEO of the North American Veterinary Conference.

Colin Burrows’ official presidential term was due to start in September 2014, subject to ratification by the WSAVA’s General Assembly.  His appointment has been brought forward as the previous President, Professor Jolle Kirpensteijn, has moved to a new role with Hill’s Pet Nutrition, the WSAVA’s prime sponsor.  Professor Burrows will now serve as President until the next meeting of the WSAVA’s General Assembly in Cape Town on 15 September 2014, at which stage he may then be re-elected to serve his full term ending at the January 2016 Assembly meeting at the NAVC.  Jolle Kirpensteijn will serve as Immediate Past President until September 2014.

Commenting on his appointment, Professor Burrows said: “ The WSAVA will be forever grateful to Jolle for so ably and willingly serving an extra term when our most recent incoming President, Professor Peter Ihrke, had to stand down for health reasons.  Jolle has been an active and incredibly effective WSAVA president and will be a very hard act to follow.  I hope to continue and enhance his many priorities including the WSAVA’s work in One Health and our efforts to eliminate rabies.  We are also trying to find solutions to many other issues, including the limited availability of medications for companion animals in many parts of the world.  This leads to great inconsistencies in the level of treatment which can be provided in key areas such as pain management. 

We must also continue our efforts to enhance our World Congresses and other educational programs with the overall goal of improving veterinary post graduate education, and by extension, patient care, around the globe.”

Jolle Kirpensteijn added:   “I have been deeply honored to serve the WSAVA as its President and to see at first-hand how our members’ work is changing the lives of companion animals – and people – around the world.   We have become a respected, global body, working together to make the world a better place. Stepping down is not easy but the WSAVA has never been stronger and I look forward to continuing to contribute as Past President.”

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA)  is an umbrella organization representing 180,000 veterinarians globally through 95 member associations.   Its key goal is to enhance the quality of veterinary care for companion animals globally with its work delivered through global committees focusing on key areas, such as continuing education; pain management, nutrition and vaccination.

 These Committees work to deliver best practice guidelines and tools which are practical and relevant to veterinarians anywhere in the world.  The eradication of rabies is a particular focus and the WSAVA’s One Health Committee hosted a major symposium in Paris on 5-6 November 2013 in conjunction with the World Organisation of Animal Health (OIE) to explore strategies to control it.