"Vets in your daily life", Commission supports 2011 World Veterinary Year

The European Union has come a long way in its efforts to better protect Animal Health, ensuring along the way Food Safety. The role of the veterinary profession, which celebrates this year its 250th anniversary, has been pivotal in making food in the EU safe. Acknowledging this contribution, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) declared 2011 World Veterinary Year, an event in which the Commission will actively participate in order to raise awareness about the role of veterinarians.

The World Veterinary Year celebrated in 2011, officially inaugurated in Versailles (France) on 24 January, is a year-long celebration of the founding of the veterinary profession in Lyon, 250 years ago. A profession which is currently estimated to be held by some 200,000 professionals across Europe who safeguard the food chain, from farm to fork, for over 500 million people.

For that reason, the European Commission and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) have been working together to promote the World Vet Year's goals through their "vets in your daily life" campaign. Its main objective is to raise awareness about the diverse, and often unseen role, vets play in society, be it through protecting animal welfare, carrying out controls at borders, or looking after our pets.

World Vet Year Photo competition

During 2011, the European Commission will organise a series of events to celebrate the World Vet Year. These activities have already started with the celebration of a photo competition, launched on 21 January.

The competition's theme, as with the joint EC/OIE activities for the World Vet Year, is "vets in your daily life." The Commission invites people, either professionals or non-professionals, to send in pictures showing the diverse role of veterinarians in society. The competition is open until 31 March 2011 and prizes for the winning photos will include photographic equipment and a trip to Brussels and Paris in May to attend the prize awarding ceremony.