CJ (Kate) Savage BVSc(Hons), MS, PhD, Diplomate ACVIM

The 15th WEVA Congress was held in Beijing, People’s Republic of China in April, 2018.
The congress was held in partnership with the host country’s main equestrian association,
China Horse Industry Association (CHIA). Prof. Jia Youling (equine veterinarian and
President of CHIA) and Mr. Yue Gaofeng (Secretary General of CHIA) were in attendance.
CHIA showed great hospitality to the speakers and delegates. There was a wonderful
camaraderie at the lecture halls and social events – the professional networking was clearly
evident and many contacts were made with collaboration initiated.

Board members, Drs. Chris Riggs and Henry Tremaine, worked tirelessly as co-Program
Chairs to bring about an ambitious program of unparalleled breadth and depth.

Eight wetlabs were held at the Equuleus Riding School in Beijing over the two days
preceding the congress. Eighteen internationally-recognized instructors came together to
teach fundamental practical veterinary and farriery elements that we take for granted. These
wetlabs included Dental examination, Diagnostic Imaging, Lameness examination, Equine
Fracture Management (AOVET), The Foot – farriery and disease, Preparing for a
competition, Prepurchase examination; and continuing the WEVA tradition, Dr Jean Marie
Denoix’s Practical Ultrasonography Demonstration.

The opening ceremony of the 15th WEVA congress was held in the Great Hall of the People,
Tiananmen Square. This building is of immense political and social significance to the
Chinese people, and the fact that the opening ceremony of WEVA Beijing 2018 was
positioned there gives one insight and an indication of the political importance of this
congress. Of course, WEVA’s mission is to promote the health and welfare of horses, mules
and donkeys through the provision of continuing education of equine veterinarians, and
indeed, persons involved in the many equestrian and equid industries globally, especially in
less economically developed countries. We hope that many of the stakeholders of the Chinese
equestrian industries will now have a heightened awareness of the profound and positive
impact that a progressive and flourishing equine veterinary profession can have on their
industries. We hope that this congress will have helped to advance the equine veterinary
profession’s status. Both Kate Savage (President WEVA) and Chris Riggs (Co-Program
Chair and WEVA board member) gave speeches at the opening ceremony, as well as
members of the government and Prof. Jia Youling (President of CHIA and an eminent
Chinese veterinarian).

Following the opening, three days of lectures were given within three different streams. The
streams were entitled:

  • Equine Industry
  • Equine Practice
  • Advanced Veterinary Medicine

Simultaneous translation into Chinese (Mandarin) was performed. There were over 70
speakers from all around the world. Final numbers of delegates have not been disclosed to
date, however, it was wonderful to see that the large halls of all 3 streams were nearly full to
capacity each day all day!

The recipient of the Boehringer-Ingelheim WEVA Applied Research Award was double
boarded (Dip ACVIM, Dip ACVECC) Dr. Pamela Wilkins from the University of Illinois.
Pam gave a wonderful lecture entitled: L-Lactate – what you didn’t know. It was fascinating
and really captured the essence of utilizing science for the betterment of veterinary medicine.
This was an historic occasion as Pam was the first woman to win this prestigious award.

The poster session was excellent and, again, enjoyed by many delegates. The authors of the
four winning poster abstracts gave oral presentations during the main congress. The winners

  • Dr Zhe Hu. The development of Competitive ELISA for Detection of the Antibodies against
  • Dr Barbara Padalino. Risks associated with injuries to horses during road transport for
    amateur and professional activities in New Zealand.
  • Dr FCM Barussi. Pine branch in horse bronchi – a series of four cases.
  • Dr Faith Burden. Owner Awareness of the Importance of Equine Dentistry and its Role in
    Preventing Welfare Problems.

A large number of Chinese and Inner Mongolian companies, as well as a number of western
companies exhibited at the trade exhibit. It was a vibrant trade hall, and enjoyed by many. It
is very important that progress is made with view to medication licensure and availability,
and we hope that WEVA Beijing 2018 has highlighted the importance of the availability of
medication in our burgeoning profession within China.

We believe that this congress will have a significant impact on the progression of the equine
veterinary profession and consequently the equestrian industries within China. We hope that
there will be an advance in welfare and health of all equids in China. These targets and
indeed, the congress itself could not have taken place without the pro bono work of so many
veterinarians from all parts of the world, and also the financial support of our sponsors. Many
thanks to our on-going sponsors: Boehringer-Ingelheim, the Hong Kong Jockey Club and the
American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), as well as the many national equine
veterinary associations (including AVEF, BEVA, DDD, EVA, SIVE, SVPM-ASME and
many more) who so enthusiastically support the participation of speakers, and the companies
in our industry who believe in making the health of horses, mules and donkeys a priority. The
World Equine Veterinary Association is an organization based on goodwill – fundamentally,
we are a federation of our national equine veterinary associations, and we thank them for
their altruism and foresight.