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Closing Thoughts on World Veterinary Year

Posted by Dr. Gregory Parham, APHIS Administrator in Animals Plants
Dec 22, 2011

World Veterinary Year, celebrating the 250th anniversary of the veterinary profession, culminated in the 30th World Veterinary Congress Closing Ceremony in Cape Town, South Africa in October. This year of recognition provided the opportunity to share the many contributions veterinarians have made in communities around the globe. There is much to celebrate. Over the last century, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and our animal health partners have made great strides in the control and eradication of animal diseases in the United States, diseases like brucellosis and tuberculosis. Worldwide, we applaud the milestone reached with the stamping out of the deadly cattle disease, rinderpest, also known as cattle plague.

APHIS employs more than 700 veterinarians, many engaged in such disease eradication work. Over the past months, we have featured 25 APHIS veterinarians in this blog space. To share more of the vital work our veterinarians do, we’ve also created a video, soon to be available on our YouTube channel.

There is one story I’d like to share that we weren’t able to include in either the video or the profiles. Dr. David Morris, one of our senior staff veterinarians based in Fort Collins, Colo., passed away suddenly this summer. Dr. Dave, as he was known, spent many years teaching veterinary students at Colorado State University and Texas A&M before coming to USDA. His dedication to the veterinary profession and his encouragement to prospective veterinarians were remarkable. Dr. Dave, other veterinarians who have passed while working for our Agency, and all our former veterinary colleagues, leave behind a rich legacy of service for us to follow.

Every member of the APHIS veterinary community should be proud of their efforts to help keep our country’s animals healthy and our agriculture safe. As you have seen, our veterinarians never know what challenges they may face or what interesting opportunities may come their way. Being a veterinarian is a job that requires passion and skill – and often less than ideal working conditions! I am honored to work alongside such a dedicated group.

To APHIS veterinarians, past and present, and all other veterinarians out there, thank you for your service. Here’s to another 250 years of achievement!

APHIS and USDA are joining with organizations around the world to celebrate World Veterinary Year by highlighting the work of veterinarians on the USDA blog.  This post is the final post in a series underscoring the important and diverse work of APHIS veterinarians.

Category/Topic: Animals Plants