The CVMA Summit is an annual forum where Canadian and international veterinary leaders share information on key issues in veterinary medicine. Discussions that take place during the Summit have proven to be invaluable in exploring and adopting common approaches to the challenges our profession faces. All CVMA Convention delegates are eligible to attend this event, which is hosted annually during the CVMA Convention.

2024 CVMA Summit: Animal Sentience

The 2024 Summit will focus on the evolving recognition of sentience in animals. We will begin the session by discussing what is meant by the term “animal sentience” and why it is difficult to create a universal definition. We will explore different species treated by the profession and hear about the latest research regarding the potential of sentience in those species. We will then discuss the legal landscape across Canada and other parts of the world to determine where the concept of animal sentience has been recognised in legislation and its effects. We will discuss why sentience is a polarizing issue that has the potential to bring animal right groups and animal industry into conflict with each other and why politicians are hesitant to get involved in the discussions. We will then examine how the veterinary profession in Europe has embraced the concept of animal sentience and positioned itself as a key stakeholder with a respected and balanced approach when legislation is being drafted that has the potential to affect the welfare of sentient animals. The Summit will end with an open question and answer period for attendees to spark further discussion.

Hosted by: Dr. Tim Arthur, CVMA Incoming President

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Past Summits