Animal-Human Connection at Heart of Caribbean Veterinary Medical Conference

As the science of veterinary medicine evolves, the veterinary professional continues to play an integral role in the socio-economic development of the community. In collaboration with the Grenada Veterinary Medical Association (GVMA), St. George’s University welcomed more than 100 such professionals to the 32nd Biennial Caribbean Veterinary Medical Association (CbVMA) virtual conference earlier this month.

Under the theme, “The Veterinarian and the Community,” the two-day event brought together regional and international veterinarians and scientists from North America, the Caribbean, and the United Kingdom.

“The importance of hosting this conference at this time cannot be overemphasized,” said Dr. Eugene Rennie, president of the GVMA and newly elected vice president of the CbVMA. “As our region becomes more intricately woven into the global village, it was indeed a clarion call to bring together colleagues and professionals from the global community to discuss animal welfare and its impact on the human community.”

Amongst the 30 main presenters were 16 SGU faculty members, as well as 17 SVM alumni attendees. By partaking in the conference, participants were also eligible to receive 30 RACE credits.

“This conference presented an opportunity for continuing education that is reflected in being abreast with new scientific information as it relates to the profession, and to promote collegiality, which is one of the building blocks of intellectual strength,” added Dr. Rennie. “It was also an ideal platform for a ‘community of practice,’ which is an important alternative source that can be tapped into as participants to further enhance our knowledge.”

Topics covered at the conference included video and live presentations on:

  • One health one medicine
  • Small and large animal medicine
  • Exotics and marine animal medicine
  • Apiculture
  • Veterinary acupuncture
  • Poultry and swine medicine
  • Equine microchipping
  • Animal wellness and health
  • Using diagnostics to grow the veterinary clinic
  • Effects of the pandemic on the veterinary profession


“The veterinary profession is multifaceted and veterinarians play a crucial role in society,” stated Crissy-Ann Harrylal, DVM ’16, BSc ’12, instructor in the School of Veterinary Medicine’s Department of Anatomy, Physiology, and Pharmacology. “It is not a profession that only deals with animal care, but all species imaginable, including humans. Veterinarians are involved in public health/disease prevention, food security, zoonoses, environment, animal welfare, biosecurity, and research.”

With his election to the board of the CbVMA, Dr. Rennie intends to champion the revitalization and restructuring of the GVMA. Future plans for the organization include, creating a veterinary council; formulating an Animal Act, which would be critical legislation encompassing proper control of animal health, animal welfare, and veterinary public health policies; and fostering mechanisms for collaboration and cooperation between the veterinary services and the Government of Grenada.


– Ray-Donna Peters


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