There has been general concern in Ghana and worldwide about how animals are treated in society. Veterinarians are therefore well positioned to understand animal welfare and transmit the same to the general public. The KNUST School of veterinary medicine in collaboration with the Animal Welfare League has therefore organised an Animal welfare seminar for veterinary students.
The maiden conference addressed topics from animal welfare in clinical practice, animal welfare and one health to individual animal welfare advocacy.
The dean of the School, Prof. Benjamin Obukowho Emikpe pointed out the seminar is crucial in their professional practice. He also urged the students to adopt a pet.
“The students will see the need to care for the animals and this will reflect in the way they care for the society. So they’ll be defendants of animal welfare.
“They are not just doctors, they understand what they should do to make the animals survive.
“What we are doing essentially is to cultivate a habit in our students. Either a class adopts a pet or a group of students adopt a pet,” he said.
Prof. Emikpe hinted the school is partnering with the School of business, KNUST to nurture entrepreneurial skills among the students.
“One of the very important things especially in the 21st century is to start to build veterinarians that are entrepreneurs. Right from school they should be trained to have an understanding that they can be on their own and succeed.
“The school of veteran medicine KNUST is partnering with the business school to float a combined program where we call it DVM/MBA project where students with very high grades about 65 upward at fourth year will be allowed to take MBA alongside what they are doing in the clinical year,” he said.
A veterinarian and lecturer at the school, Dr. Oliver Boakye asked the students to uphold continuous learning in order to provide better services
“For a veterinarian, you need to continually improve your skills and build on them in order to provide that sort of care for the animal,” he said.
Ms. Ulla Deventer, a PhD candidate at the department for Painting and Sculpture, KNUST, and animal lover was worried about maltreatment of horses across the country.
She wants policies on the ownership and abuse of animals.
“We still have to deal with our policies and laws. Maybe on paper the animals are our property but what I want us to think about is does this mean I have the right to abuse and to control this no matter if it is a human being or an animal,” she said.
Ms. Deventer emphasized the responsibilities of humans towards animals.
“As human beings we are the ones with power and it is so easy to abuse this so this is where our responsibility comes. This is why we also have to start thinking, what does it mean to own an animal?” she explained.
The seminar was sponsored by the International Veterinary Students Association (IVSA)