Australian correspondent for dvm360® provides updates on the Climate Care program which seeks to integrate environmentally sustainable solutions into daily veterinary practice and meets the new, youngest AVA President
Climate Care program by Vets for Climate Action
Later this year, Vets for Climate Action (VfCA) will launch its Climate Care program to enable Australian veterinary teams to take the lead in environmental sustainability and help halt climate change. By providing the tools and knowledge needed to successfully integrate sustainability solutions into daily veterinary practice, the program aims to reduce environmental impact and improve the welfare of the animals cared for.
The Climate Care program, the first of its kind, is currently undergoing preliminary launch trials in several veterinary practices. The program was developed with input from a collaborative team of veterinarians, veterinary nurses, sustainability engineers and specialist tertiary educators. Program content is based on universal principles around sustainable practices and climate change mitigation with solutions referencing local services in Australia.
“The Climate Care program enables a “climate champion” in each veterinary clinic to work with their team to implement changes that improve environmental sustainability in their practice. The online program consists of 6 modules covering efficient water use, recycling and landfill minimization, energy efficiency, renewable energy, sourcing and chemicals, including anesthetic gases, toxins and pharmaceuticals,” explained Jeremy Watson, BVSc, volunteer with VfCA’s Climate Care program. crew.
Watson is a partner of Brimbank Veterinary Clinic in Victoria, Australia’s first veterinary practice to be certified carbon neutral under the Australian Government’s Climate Action programme.1 This came after the clinic was rebuilt in 2011 incorporating the latest environmental design features, including a large rooftop solar power system that has enabled the business to reduce its energy bills by more than 70%.
“I have a longstanding interest in sustainable design and practice. I joined VfCA to help amplify the role veterinary teams can play in motivating the veterinary community to take urgent action against climate change. From more intense bushfires killing iconic wildlife, to rising temperatures causing heat stress in beloved pets, to changing weather conditions affecting livestock, the veterinary community across Australia is on the front line of climate change impacts,” Watson said.
“As veterinarians we are scientifically trained and it is important that we help explain the science of climate change and its impact on animal health. The public relies on us to provide animal health information and climate health is one of them. We have a broad reach in the community through the pet-owning public and have the opportunity to encourage them to help fight climate change.
Veterinary practices can benefit in several ways from participating in the VfCA’s Climate Care program, including improving profitability by finding simple ways to add value and reduce costs, explained Corinna Klupiec, BVSc, PhD, Head from the development of the products of the Climate Care program of the VfCA, to dvm360®. .
“Other benefits include increased loyalty from your clients by demonstrating your clinic’s commitment to social responsibility, as well as building team knowledge and motivation when working together on projects that improve environmental sustainability. of your practice,” Klupiec said.
“Like the human health sector, the veterinary profession consumes a lot of energy and chemicals, and generates a lot of waste. But veterinary teams can do a lot to work more sustainably, and the Climate Care program provides simple, achievable steps that will help veterinary teams reduce their environmental impact and improve the welfare of the animals in their care.
New President of the Australian Veterinary Association
The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) has elected its youngest president,2 Bronwyn Orr, PhD, MSc, 2013 veterinary graduate from James Cook University in Queensland. She succeeds Warwick Vale who had served 2 terms as President of the AVA.
Primarily a government veterinarian who also works in emergency clinical veterinary practice, Orr has expertise in animal welfare and has spent the past few years working on farm animal welfare policy for the government. Australian while completing a PhD on the zoonotic disease Brucellosis in dogs.
“It is a privilege for me to serve the Board of Directors and the members of the AVA as President. I am passionate about the profession and thrilled to be able to wake up every day and work on issues important to veterinarians. Any veterinarian has the ability to make a meaningful difference in our profession, and I encourage those who want to give back to get involved,” Orr told dvm360®.
At a time when the veterinary profession in Australia faces a variety of workforce challenges, Orr is keen to build relationships and support vets, including through the recently announced THRIVE Veterinary Wellness Initiative. announced by the AVA.3
“I will help focus our strategy on advocacy and ensure that we build long-term relationships within government, industry and related organizations. These relationships can really pay off when we want to push for a new initiative or make sure the vets are in the room during key decisions,” Orr explained. “I will also focus on improving transparency, diversity and inclusion in AVA. Along with these personal goals, I will ensure that big things like the THRIVE initiative to improve veterinary wellness and workforce sustainability continue to grow.
The AVA’s THRIVE initiative involves increased resources within the association to form a steering committee and develop an industry-specific mental health framework and suicide prevention strategy.
“The veterinary profession is invaluable to the Australian community, and the AVA will continue to promote vets at all levels – to the public, various levels of government and industry partners.”
“We know veterinary staff are under immense pressure at the moment, which is why we will have a public awareness campaign on the value of vets to be launched later this year, and why building strategic relationships with policy makers is so crucial to ensuring we achieve our big goal. picture elements,” Orr said.
- Brimbank Veterinary – Certified carbon neutral. Vets for Climate Action. March 3, 2022. Accessed June 23, 2022. https://www.vfca.org.au/certified_carbon_neutral_vet
- Announcement of incoming AVA President and Vice President. Australian Veterinary Association. May 27, 2022. Accessed June 23, 2022. https://www.ava.com.au/member-updates/Newsletter/dr-bronwyn-orr-announced-as-ava-president
- AVA is launching a new wellness initiative, THRIVE. Australian Veterinary Association. May 23, 2022. Accessed June 23, 2022. https://www.ava.com.au/news/ava-launches-thrive