By Tim Greet, BVMS, FRCVS, MVM, Cert EO, DESTS, Dipl. ECVS, WEVA President’s Advisor

For several years the World Equine Veterinary Association (WEVA) has been working toward promoting a regular Iberian conference to unite the Spanish and Portuguese equine veterinary associations (AMEE and AMPVE, respectively). Four years ago we held a successful intermediate meeting in Segovia, Spain. The rather belated follow-up took place on May 16 in Lisbon, Portugal.

The meeting was held in conjunction with the annual Federation of European Equine Veterinary Associations (FEEVA) general assembly, which was held in Lisbon the day before the scientific meeting. This federation is responsible for coordinating equine veterinary political activities in Europe. They report to the Federation of Veterinarians in Europe, which is the overarching veterinary political body that deals directly with the European Council, Commission, and Parliament. Representatives from all the significant equine associations in Europe attended this meeting, as did Kent Carter DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVIM, the current American Association of Equine Practitioners president.

Many current issues were discussed during the FEEVA meeting, including the profession’s demographics, potential overproduction of veterinary graduates, European Union (EU) approval of veterinary schools, medicine availability, antimicrobial resistance, equine welfare issues, the European Horse Network, standardization of prepurchase examinations (including radiologic interpretation) across the EU, the Callisto Project (zoonotic infections from equidae), and VETCEE (continuing veterinary education in Europe).

The following day, the WEVA intermediate meeting was hosted by AMPVE and its president Nuno Bernardes, DVM. Attendees listened to lectures on a novel computerized method of stride and locomotor analysis and a new tool for learning equine distal (lower) limb anatomy, both presented by Dr. Jenny Hagen of Leipzig University, in Germany. Christine Hinterhofer, DrMedVet, Dipl. Tzt, of the University of Vienna, in Austria, presented on diagnosing hoof problems. Then Giorgio Ricardi, DVM, who works in Italy and Abu Dhabi, talked about FEEVA, and I gave a short presentation on WEVA.

Later that day Rita Fonseca, DVM, PhD, of the University of Lisbon, spoke on imaging of the foot. Jose Mendez, DVM, Dipl. ACVS, PhD, of the University of Helsinki, Finland, spoke on both diagnosing foot pain and endoscopy of the foot’s synovial structures. Finally, I presented on angular and flexural limb deformities, their treatments, and surgical conditions of the foot.

The audience—which included more than 60 delegates—primarily included Portuguese and Spanish practitioners and a few academics, some of the FEEVA Board, and some university students. The presentations were all in English and stimulated many questions from an enthusiastic audience.

WEVA hopes to conduct another meeting on the Iberian Peninsula next year, probably in Spain. The aim is to create an annual or biennial Iberian conference to provide a regular forum for continuing equine veterinary education to an area that is home to so many horses. WEVA also hopes an Iberian bid for a future WEVA Congress might be successful.

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