Minister of Climate Change and Environment Opens First National Dialogue for Veterinary Medicine
H.E Dr Amna bint Abdullah Al Dahak, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, opened the first National Dialogue for Veterinary Medicine at United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain.
In her keynote speech at the event titled, Enhance the capabilities of veterinary services in the UAE, the minister highlighted the critical role of veterinary services in safeguarding public health, enhancing food security and safety, biodiversity, and the UAE’s commitment to the sector.
H.E Dr Al Dahak addressed the audience saying: “Today, we gather to strengthen collaboration, create sustainable opportunities for better veterinary services, and we can work together to build the UAE into a role model for the region.”
She stressed the importance of veterinary services to public health, adding: “These services play a crucial role in combating endemic and emerging animal diseases, safeguarding humans, animals, and the environment from associated health risks.”
H.E Dr Al Dahak noted statistics from the World Health Organization for Animal Health (WHO), which state that about 60% of human pathogens originate from animals, with over 70% of emerging diseases shared between humans and animals.
She also highlighted the UAE’s support for the WHO’s Global Strategy via initiatives like One Health and Pathway Veterinary Services (PVS) evaluation.
In past years, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment has successfully developed a comprehensive legal framework in the Animal and Veterinary Sector, which has led to the development of an innovative and adaptable legislative system, as well as a standardized implementation of procedures across the country.
In addition, tools and capabilities have been developed to support the veterinary system through the Biosecurity Early Warning System. This multi-sectoral and multi-level digital tool addresses animal health by sending alerts on legislative violations, as well as epidemiological and animal welfare concerns.
It facilitates prompt responses from all concerned parties at the country level.
H.E Dr Al Dahak described discussions around legislation, sustainability, and regulation at the national dialogue as “crucial” and described enhancement of the veterinary sector as a “key priority” for the Ministry.
She commented: “We are here to collaborate for the ongoing development of the veterinary medicine sector and for the wider protection of our wildlife, and the enhancement of global biodiversity.
“We aim to build bridges of communication between academia, government, and the private sector. This entails identifying key challenges faced by the veterinary profession, refining a mutually agreed-upon veterinary roadmap, launching the regulatory and legislative frameworks needed for the veterinary profession.”
The delegation at the National Dialogue included Prof. Ghaleb Al Hadrami Al Breiki, Acting Vice Chancellor of United Arab Emirates University, experts from veterinary establishments, representatives of relevant international organizations and associations, and government agencies and authorities in the UAE.
The dialogue led to a series of development initiatives centered around the leadership of the veterinary sector. These include collaborations with the private and academic sectors to establish a national system for qualifying and training veterinary students.
The aim is to ensure they receive comprehensive scientific and practical experiences. Additionally, there is a focus on creating a digital platform for veterinary facilities to enhance transparency, competitiveness, and ultimately contribute to improving the overall animal health system in the country.
Last year, the Ministry endorsed the amended version of Law number 10 for 2002, which enhanced the investments and regulated the profession for local and government veterinarians.
The first National Dialogue focused on developing solutions to protect and enhance veterinary medicine, as well as create opportunities for further growth, innovation, and sustainability.