By Sabrina Cowan, third year Veterinary Medicine student at the RVC
We at the Royal Veterinary College felt extremely excited to have been invited to run a workshop at the National conference in November. Students for Global and One Health RVC are university society comprised of predominantly Veterinary students, who have a particular area of interest in the interface between human and animal health. We were keen to spread the message of how vets can play an important role of preventing disease in humans, through awareness of how zoonotic diseases can spread between animals and humans, and how communication between professions hugely contributes to the success of treatment programmes.
Myself, the-co president of the society, Clement Cahen and Rebecca Hernandez put in a few hours to brainstorm ideas, research topics and put together a presentation for the workshop. It was also the first time any of us had attended a SfGH event, so we were excited to meet fellow students and committee members. Meeting students outside the veterinary field who shared our same passion was encouraging and motivating; it’s great that there is an increasing awareness that interdisciplinary approaches are the best strategy.
The main message that we wanted to promote during our workshop ‘Climate Change, Livestock and You’ was the importance of the need for collaboration between medics and vets for the prevention of disease. This can be achieved through better communication, both when dealing with specific cases and in the broader policy making. Warming temperatures, changing weather patterns, pressure on resources and antimicrobial resistance all threaten to increase the spread of zoonotic disease through our livestock systems, companion animals and wildlife.
We wanted to thank everyone on the organising committee for the conference, and to encourage everyone to make changes to help the climate crisis that is currently threatening our health systems.
If you’d like to learn more about how human and animal health is linked, a good read is ‘Zoobiquity: What animals can teach us about being human’ by Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and Kathryn Bowers.