News Release: Canadian Veterinary Medical Association Explores Veterinarians as Leaders on Adaptation to Climate Change during National Convention

July 12, 2021

Ottawa, Ont. – The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) will explore the issues and challenges pertaining to veterinarians as leaders on climate change adaptation at its National Issues Forum on July 22, 2021 during its annual convention, held virtually for the first time due to the global pandemic.

“The last year and a half has shown us more now than ever that climate change is a real concern and veterinarians must be involved in addressing this threat,” says Dr. Enid Stiles, 2020-21 CVMA President. “Global disasters including uncontrollable wildfires, droughts, and widespread flooding, along with emerging zoonotic diseases, including COVID-19, clearly demonstrate the need for all medical professionals to work together in the spirit of One Health to fight to improve and protect health for people, the environment, and animals.”

The CVMA National Issues Forum: Veterinarians as Leaders on Adaptation to Climate Change will feature:

  • Dr. Craig Stephen, Clinical Professor, School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia. Dr. Stephen is a veterinary epidemiologist who has worked at the interface of animals, health, and society for almost 30 years. His previous work focused on the socio-ecological origins of emerging threats. Today he works on building reciprocal care strategies wherein we concurrently look after ourselves, our communities, our animals, and nature.
  • Dr. Jonna Mazet, founding Executive Director of the University of California, Davis One Health Institute, whose work focuses on global health problem solving for emerging infectious diseases and conservation challenges. Dr. Mazet is active in international One Health education, service, and research programs, most notably in relation to pathogen emergence; disease transmission among wildlife, domestic animals, and people; and the ecological drivers of novel disease dynamics.
  • Dr. Courtney Howard, emergency physician in Yellowknife, Canada’s subarctic, and Clinical Associate Professor in the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary. Dr. Howard is a nationally and globally recognized expert on the impacts of climate change on health and planetary health.

The 2021 CVMA Convention, Canada’s only national multi-species convention, will welcome over 1,250 participants including veterinarians, registered veterinary technicians, veterinary students, and hospital managers from July 22 to 25, 2021.

Other key events include:

  • CVMA Summit: Changes in Societal Expectations Towards Animals, and Influence on Veterinary Team Wellness (July 22, 2-6 p.m.)
  • New CVMA President announcement (July 22, approx. 12:50 p.m.)
  • CVMA Awards Gala recognizing individuals and groups for their outstanding contribution to veterinary medicine (July 22, 7-8 p.m.)

Continuing Education (CE) sessions (July 23-25) delivered by 80 internationally renowned speakers exploring companion animals, ruminants, equine health, honeybees, bovine health, animal welfare and more, including:

  • Psychological Safety in Veterinary Workplaces

    Veterinary Ethics and Moral Distress in Veterinary Practice

  • Basic Aspects of Honeybee Biology and Beekeeping Practices Relevant to Honeybee Health and Disease

  • Unmasking the "Thief": Updates on Ferret Medicine

  • What's Your Beef? Handling Raw Meat-Based Diet Conversations

  • The Brachycephalic Airway: What Can You Do to Help?

  • Bioethical Challenges - Selective Animal Breeding

  • The Misbehaving Horse: Is It Pain or Behaviour?

Please review the complete CE schedule here:

Please find a complete overview of the convention here:  

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The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) is the national and international voice for Canada’s 13,000 veterinarians, providing leadership and advocacy for veterinary medicine. Visit to learn more about CVMA.

Lori Ahronson
Manager, Communications and Public Relations
Canadian Veterinary Medical Association