The International Companion Animal Management Coalition (ICAM) is an event that brings together veterinary experts, researchers, and animal welfare advocates from around the world to discuss innovative strategies for companion animal population management. This year's conference, held from June 19th to 23rd 2023, showcased a diverse range of topics, highlighting the importance of addressing dog population management within the framework of One Health. With each session revealing groundbreaking insights and practical solutions, ICAM 2023 proved to be a platform for shaping a better future for our furry friends.
Elly Hiby, the Director at ICAM, opened the 4th ICAM Coalition Conference, acknowledging the virtual nature of the event that facilitated broader participation and collaboration from professionals across the globe. As she highlighted, experts, researchers, and animal welfare advocates from diverse backgrounds and geographical locations came together in the virtual space to exchange ideas, share best practices, and build a stronger global network for companion animal management. The virtual format enabled greater accessibility, ensuring a wider audience could engage with the conference's valuable insights and outcomes.
Dog Population Management in One Health
The conference emphasized the One Health approach, recognizing the interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental well-being. By adopting this holistic perspective, participants delved into the ways in which the health and welfare of companion animals play a pivotal role in creating healthier communities. They examined the multifaceted benefits that arise from responsible pet ownership, including improved mental and physical health, reduced zoonotic disease transmission, and the cultivation of more sustainable environments.
Throughout the conference, experts shared their experiences and insights, addressing the various challenges faced in companion animal management. Discussions revolved around effective strategies for population control, responsible breeding practices, access to veterinary care, and promoting responsible pet ownership. By sharing best practices and exchanging knowledge, attendees collaboratively worked towards identifying innovative solutions and creating actionable plans to improve companion animal management on a global scale.
The ICAM Conference also served as a networking hub, facilitating connections between professionals, organizations, and policymakers invested in animal welfare and public health. Attendees had the opportunity to forge new partnerships, exchange ideas, and explore avenues for cooperation. These connections are instrumental in driving change and fostering ongoing collaborations that will continue to strengthen the link between companion animal management, human health, and community well-being.
Insights from the AU-IBAR Survey
Among the esteemed speakers was Dr. Kavosa Mudoga, Director for Action for Protection of Animals Africa - Animals in Communities, who shared valuable insights. Dr. Kavosa Mudoga, a veterinarian with experience in Dog Population Management, also presented the Au-IBAR eye-opening research survey on "Institutional Preparedness of African Countries to Eliminate Rabies by 2030."
Dr. Mudoga's presentation enlightened the audience with its compelling findings. Her talk unveiled the groundbreaking results from the AU-IBAR survey conducted in 2021-2022. This survey shed light on the progress and challenges faced by African countries in their journey towards eradicating rabies, laying the foundation for strategic interventions and collaboration.
“Our research highlights the need for targeted interventions and collaborative efforts to eliminate rabies in African countries by 2030," emphasized Dr. Kavosa Mudoga, Director for Action for Protection of Animals Africa - Animals in Communities. "By addressing the disparities in institutional capacities and focusing on strengthening veterinary healthcare systems, increasing access to rabies vaccinations, strengthening DPM systems, and promoting responsible pet ownership, we can make significant strides towards a rabies-free Africa," she added during her presentation at the ICAM conference.
One of the significant revelations from the survey was the existence of disparities in institutional capacities across the continent. This highlighted the need for tailored strategies and resource allocation to effectively combat rabies and control dog populations. Discussions at the conference revolved around strengthening veterinary healthcare systems, increasing access to rabies vaccinations, putting in robust dog and cat population management systems, and promoting responsible pet ownership.
Making a Lasting Impact
ICAM 2023 has once again proven to be a milestone event, fostering collaboration, and inspiring change in companion animal population management. The diverse range of topics, from scientific research to governmental initiatives and community-driven programs, underscored the importance of a holistic approach. By integrating One Health principles and embracing innovative solutions, we can create a future where dogs and communities coexist harmoniously.
As we bid farewell to the ICAM conference, we carry with us invaluable knowledge and inspiration. Let us continue to champion the cause of dog population management, ensuring a brighter future for our beloved furry companions and healthier communities.