This past January, the AAEP held its Resort Meeting in Rome, Italy. Immediately following, the World Equine Veterinary Association (WEVA) held its 9th Congress across the Mediterranean Ocean in Marrakech, Morocco. It was not a coincidence that the two meetings were close together in dates and location, as the two organizations have become closer in their relationship with each other over the past five years.

The AAEP has expanded its international presence by becoming involved with organizations such as the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA), WEVA, and most recently the Federation of European Equine Veterinary Associations (FEEVA). It was the AAEP/BEVA initial alliance that resulted in AAEP members receiving the BEVA publication Equine Veterinary Education as a member benefit. The last several years, AAEP has sponsored speakers to WEVA's Congress and its intermediate meetings held in China, San Salvador, Hungary, and India. This past year AAEP held a joint meeting with FEEVA, a first in AAEP history.


WEVA was established to promote international cooperation in equine clinical practice and to advance the state of knowledge to enhance the welfare of horses. One specific purpose of WEVA is to hold and promote international congresses on a biennial basis. Its first congress was held in 1989 in Germany, and since that time it has held congresses in Brazil, Switzerland, Japan, Italy, France, Argentina, and Morocco. The 10th Congress is scheduled to be held in Moscow, Russia.

The 9th Congress, held in January in Marrakech, Morocco, was very successful mainly due to the efforts of the local organizing committee led by Drs. Mohammed Bakkoury and Ahmed Tibary. The program was organized by Dr. Warwick Bayly of Washington State University and his scientific committee. The congress was attended by more than 500 veterinarians from 47 countries, with presenters from 31 countries.

A new slate of officers was installed, with former WEVA president Dr. Des Leadon from Ireland becoming senior vice president/immediate past president, Dr. Richard Corde from France becoming president, and Dr. Gary Norwood from the United States elected as junior vice president/president-elect. Dr. Julie Fjeldborg from Denmark remains secretary, and Bayly takes over as Treasurer.

The remaining executive board members for WEVA are Drs. Tim Greet (England), Mario Lopez Oliva (Argentina), Fabio Torre (Italy), David Hodgson (Australia), Ravi Reddy (India), and Mohammed Bakkoury (Morocco).

Additional information on WEVA can be found at (a new web site for the group that is not finalized).

Leadon accepted his initial term as president in 1991 on the condition that WEVA agreed to become less of a global umbrella organization and more of a continuing education provider, with a special emphasis on providing teaching in countries in which equine continuing education was not as evolved as it is in some of the world's more fortunate countries.

"The then-president of the AAEP, Dr. Jerry Black, was very supportive of this concept," noted Leadon in his address at the 2006 WEVA meeting. "He very kindly arranged for an invitation to discuss it with the AAEP Board at the AAEP Annual Congress in San Diego in December of that year. It was well received...This is an important and valuable precedent and is one that we should seek to maintain. Jerry's successors Wayne McIlwraith, Tom Lenz, Larry Bramlage, and Scott Palmer, together with their ever helpful executive director David Foley, have given us invaluable assistance whenever we have sought it. We are honored to have (current AAEP president) Thomas Brokken and David with us in Morocco this year, as well as Norwood and former AAEP president Robert Lewis. BEVA very kindly allowed a similar opportunity, and Sandy Love as president of the BEVA Trust has been both a speaker at a WEVA meeting and a supporter of our applications for funding for speakers."

Leadon noted that funds from WEVA, AAEP, BEVA, and other organizations have been used to further promote equine continuing education through a new series of intermediate meetings held between the biennial congresses.

Funding for WEVA educational events comes from monies generated by the congresses and through donations from its members and other organizations; there are no dues required.

Working with WEVA is just one more arm in AAEP's worldwide outreach to educate veterinarians, equine health care professionals, and owners to make life better for the world's horses.

About the Author

Gary Norwood, DVM

Gary Norwood, DVM, is a racetrack practitioner in Louisiana, a past president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, and president-elect of the World Equine Veterinary Association.

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