The South African Veterinary Association (SAVA) has called on government to include veterinarians in the current Covid-19 vaccination roll-out plan.
According to SAVA, Regulation 43148 published on March 25 2020 includes veterinary services and animal welfare in the definition of essential services.
“Veterinary services are commonly thought of as animal care for companion animals, but veterinarians play a crucial role in monitoring and ensuring that the animals in the food chain receive optimal health care and are raised in humane conditions,” the organisation said in a recent statement.
“Further to this, the work that is done by veterinarians throughout the food chain, including but not limited to implementing regulations on animal health (including medication, vaccination and health management) ensuring implementation of animal welfare standards and the traceability and food safety measures enables safe trade of animal products.”
SAVA president Dr Leon de Bruyn said that the services provided by members of the organisation were essential in ensuring the functioning of the nation’s livestock industry.
“SAVA aims to support its members who are ultimately responsible for ensuring and certifying food safety in South Africa. It is therefore vital that our members are granted access to the vaccines in order to safely continue working to ensure food safety and security.
“Our goal is to uphold the highest standards, by utilising the professional knowledge, skills and resources of our members,” said de Bruyn.