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World Veterinary Day: Promoting Equity and Inclusiveness in Animal Welfare

World Veterinary Day is celebrated every year on the 29th of April and aims to recognize the important role that veterinarians play in safeguarding animal welfare, public health, and food security. As we celebrate this day, it's important to highlight the strategies that promote equity and inclusiveness in animal welfare.

With its international reach, many people around the world celebrate World Veterinary Day in different ways throughout the year. Action for Protection of Animals Africa (APAA) advocates and campaigns to help people understand and consider the complex lives of all animals and the need to promote equity in animal welfare through equity and inclusivity, especially in marginalized communities. Due to financial constraints, these communities struggle to provide adequate care for their animals, leading to neglect, abandonment, and even death. One example of this is the partnership between APAA, governments, and communities, which has been instrumental in promoting equity in animal welfare for communities through the provision of affordable veterinary and animal care such as mass dog vaccination against rabies. "We have worked with various partners to support the provision of affordable free mass dog vaccination programs against rabies, ensuring that both humans and animals are protected from this deadly disease. This partnership has also helped to promote responsible pet ownership through awareness campaigns," says Dr. Kavosa Mudoga. By partnering with local governments and communities to provide affordable animal care, APAA is helping to promote equity in the delivery of animal welfare services and ensure that all animals, regardless of their owners' financial status, have access to the care they need.

Promoting education about the importance of treating animals humanely is another effective way to achieve equity in animal welfare. Animal welfare education helps raise awareness about how our actions impact animals and their well-being. It also teaches us how we can take steps to improve the quality of life for all creatures, big or small. APAA's crucial aspect of animal welfare education is teaching people about responsible pet ownership. This includes understanding what it takes to care for an animal properly, and providing them with adequate food, water, shelter, and medical care when needed.

Another strategy to promote equity in animal welfare is advocating for stronger laws and regulations that protect animals from abuse and neglect. APAA works with policymakers to create policies that hold individuals accountable for mistreating animals. By promoting equity in animal welfare, APAA aims to ensure that all animals are treated with compassion and respect, regardless of their species or the region in which they live.

Our commitment to promoting equity in animal welfare is exemplified by our efforts to provide assistance to animals that are affected by natural disasters such as floods, droughts, and wildfires. We work closely with local communities and governments to ensure that animals receive veterinary care during times of crisis through the provision of affordable vaccination programs. “We recently collaborated with Kajiado County Government to support free vaccinations for goats against Contagious Caprine Pleuropneumonia (CCPP) and deworming dogs against Coenurosis, further demonstrating our dedication to the well-being of all animals.” Says Dr. Judy Kimaru.

Fostering a culture of respect for all animals, with the understanding that they are sentient beings that deserve to be treated with kindness and compassion, also helps promote equity in animal welfare. By promoting awareness of the needs and rights of animals, we can encourage an equitable world for all animals, and ensure that they receive the care and protection they deserve.

On this World Veterinary Day, let us pledge to work towards promoting equity in animal welfare globally. The role of veterinarians in ensuring the well-being of animals is crucial, and we must strive to ensure that all animals are treated equally irrespective of their species, breed, or geographical location. We must recognize that all animals have the right to live a life free from pain and suffering.

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