Graphic courtesy of CVMA.
For this year’s Animal Health Week across the country, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) is promoting animal welfare through safeguarding the five animal freedoms.
According to the CVMA, all animal owners can protect their pets or animals through the following freedoms:
• Providing adequate shelter: Freedom from discomfort by providing an appropriate environment, including shelter and a comfortable resting area;
• Providing proper nutrition: Freedom from hunger and thirst by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour;
• Providing appropriate veterinary care: Freedom from pain, injury or disease by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment;
• Ensuring proper socialization: Freedom to spend time with or away from members of their species as appropriate;
• Allowing animals to exhibit normal behavior: Freedom to express normal behavior by providing sufficient space, proper facilities, and tools/accessories and not punishing animals for carrying out undesired behaviours.
Dr. Margaret Brown-Bury, an emergency veterinarian at the Veterinary Specialty Centre of Newfoundland and Labrador in St. John’s, told The Packet Animal Health Week has been an initiative of the CVMA for the past 30 years.
“We usually focus on more preventative type of issues,” said Brown-Bury. “Past topics have been microchipping your pet, or making sure pet is well-identified in case it gets lost.
“It’s just the idea that the health of animals is very related to the health of people.”
Brown-Bury says she’s been a vet in Newfoundland and Labrador for eight years. She’s the N.L. representative on the CVMA council.
She says Animal Health Week relates to all animals and not just typical house pets. While the needs of a farm animal are often different from domesticated pets in the home, they all have essential needs in common as well.
“The overall message to take away is what is required to ensure that an individual animal has good quality of life — free from suffering.”
During the week, many clinics and facilities around the province will be holding various festivities for the public, like open houses and other events.
What is the CVMA?
The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association is the voice of the Canadian veterinary profession in promoting animal welfare and One Health, to ensure optimal care for animals, people and the environment. Visit canadianveterinarians.net to learn more about CVMA.