The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) has made a £3,000 donation to the international animal welfare and veterinary care charity Worldwide Veterinary Service (WVS).
The charity was chosen by RCVS President Dr Bradley Viner as the recipient of this year’s Christmas Box, a donation made in lieu of sending out Christmas cards.
Founded in 2003, the Dorset-based charity sends out veterinary teams from the UK to assist NGOs and animal charities in areas of the world where there are limited veterinary resources, with the aim of championing and improving both animal and human health and welfare.
Dr Viner, speaking of his reasons for choosing the charity, said: “The WVS does fantastic work overseas, for example, with its Mission Rabies programme in India, which is making a very significant impact on both animal and human health through vaccinating dogs and providing training, medicine and equipment for Indian veterinary surgeons. This is particularly needed in a country where tens of thousands of people die of rabies every year, many of whom are children.
“I am also very supportive of the training side of their work, which uses the expertise and skills of veterinary surgeons in the UK to promote best practice in animal welfare and improve the clinical skills of veterinary surgeons across the world.”
The donation will be used to help support the construction and equipping of the charity’s second International Training Centre in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand. The first International Training Centre was built in Tamil Nadu, South India in 2010 and has helped train over 1,000 local veterinary surgeons in safe and competent surgical techniques.
Luke Gamble, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of WVS, said: “A donation such as this from the President of the RCVS is a huge honour for WVS and we will make every penny count. This donation couldn’t come at a better time to help get our International Training Centre in Thailand off the ground, as it will help build a whole preparation room.
“We are hugely grateful for this support and very proud to be part of such a brilliant profession that bridges countries, cultures and attitudes, uniting us as a global body and championing both animal and human welfare through a shared vocation.”
Previous recipients of the President’s Christmas Box have included Mind, Canine Partners, Hounds for Heroes, SPANA and the Veterinary Benevolent Fund.