CVMA | Documents | News Release: National Veterinary Association Empowers Veterinary Teams Across the Country to Support the Fight Against Zoonotic Diseases

News Release: National Veterinary Association Empowers Veterinary Teams Across the Country to Support the Fight Against Zoonotic Diseases

October 2, 2020

OTTAWA, Ont. – The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) is celebrating Animal Health Week from October 4 to 10, 2020 by showcasing how Canada’s veterinary professionals occupy unique positions within the national One Health community to support the fight against zoonotic diseases and highlighting how protecting animal health, protects everyone’s health.

The CVMA is proud to have celebrated Animal Health Week nationwide for 35 years. This year’s theme, Understanding Zoonotic Diseases: Community Health — Animals and You, is an opportunity for the national veterinary community to raise awareness of zoonotic diseases through recognition and knowledge of threats, in-turn improving public health and animal welfare.

“When the 2020 Animal Health Week theme was selected last fall, little did we know just how unfortunately timely it would be,” expresses Dr. Enid Stiles, CVMA President. “I believe that, ‘It is not the mistake that matters but how you deal with it, what you learn from it, and how you apply that lesson to your life.’ COVID-19 was a giant global mistake, but we are certainly learning from it, involuntarily at times. I believe most of us have the ‘learning’ part down, but my question for everyone now is, ‘How are we going to apply the lessons to our lives?’ I do not currently have the answer, but I do know that raising public awareness through this year’s Animal Health Week campaign is a good start.”

Animal Health Week 2020 will inform animal owners that:

  • Zoonotic diseases may be transmitted from animals to people, but can be easily prevented
  • Regular veterinary wellness checks help protect you, your family, and your pet from zoonotic diseases
  • You should always wash your hands after being around animals, even if you did not touch them
  • You can talk to your veterinary team for information on zoonotic diseases

Veterinary practices across Canada may not celebrate Animal Health Week through in-person events this year, but every veterinary clinic can engage their clientele and raise awareness of these important

messages through the 2020 CVMA Animal Health Week Social Media Campaign, with pre-written messaging and images to share, and educational resources all found on the CVMA website.

The CVMA celebrates Animal Health Week in partnership with the Registered Veterinary Technologists and Technicians of Canada. This year’s Animal Health Week is generously sponsored by IDEXX, Merck Animal Health, iFinance Canada (Petcard), Petsecure Pet Health Insurance, and Virbac.

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Associated Links

The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association is the national and international voice for Canada’s veterinarians, providing leadership and advocacy for veterinary medicine. Animal Health Week is a national public awareness campaign organized by the CVMA and hosted by veterinarians across Canada. Each year, during the first week of October, veterinarians and veterinary hospitals and clinics across Canada promote animal health and responsible animal ownership as part the of Animal Health Week celebrations. Visit to learn more about the CVMA.

Alexandra Schlesiger
Canadian Veterinary Medical Association