A day was set aside in April to celebrate the work of veterinarian professionals, including veterinary assistants, which are in demand across the country.

World Veterinary Day was held on April 27 and focused on the importance of vaccinations.

“The importance of vaccinations is a critical message for World Veterinary Day,” says Dr. Douglas Aspros, president of the AVMA. “Vaccinations both prevent and protect, not only by preventing disease in our pets and livestock, but by protecting people from zoonotic diseases. The success of animal control officers and veterinary professionals in controlling canine rabies in the United States is a good example of how successful vaccines can be in saving the lives of people and pets. In America, less than a handful of people die of rabies every year, while around the world the disease still kills more than 55,000 people annually.”

World Veterinary Association President Dr. Duane C. Landals said the day helped promote the important work veterinary professionals perform every day.

“World Veterinary Day is an opportunity to promote the benefits of veterinary medicine around the world,” Landals said. “While veterinarians are highly respected in the developed world in counties like Canada and the United States, in the developing world a veterinarian’s important work may not be fully understood, and that’s a challenge we hope to address. Veterinarians in the developing world work every day to combat livestock diseases that cause famine. They work to prevent the emergence of zoonotic diseases that, with today’s modern transportation of people and animals, can easily cross borders and oceans to affect us all. That’s also the reason that ‘Vaccination to prevent and protect’ is an excellent theme for this year’s World Veterinary Day, because vaccines are one of the strongest tools in any veterinarian’s tool box, no matter where they are working. When used appropriately in the hands of a knowledgeable veterinarian, vaccines prevent illness, death, and animal and human suffering.”

At Milwaukee Career College’s veterinary assistant training program, students are being prepared to meet the growing demand for veterinary assistants currently being felt across the country in a variety of clinics and research facilities that provide animal care.