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Veterinary services in Malaysia: Its relevance to nation building

A veterinarian is at the forefront in nation building. He is uniquely qualified to fulfill an array of roles apart from preventing disease and healing animals. Over the years, veterinary professionals have played considerable and contributory roles in animal and human health and welfare, food security, food quality and safety, ecology, ethology, epidemiology, physiology, genetics, psychology, drugs and pharmaceuticals development, biomedical research, rural development, as educators, trainers and policymakers, economic development through livestock production and management and in wildlife conservation, and the protection of the environment and biodiversity.

The livestock sector is emerging as a propellor of agricultural growth in view of rapid growth in demand for animal food products. Veterinarians stand tall in their effort to upgrade the existing livestock production systems to make it more profitable and instilling the sense of security and confidence among the livestock owners. They also provide extension services towards spreading the awareness about the animal health and welfare.

Veterinarians are the vanguard in protecting the public health and welfare. It has been documented that 75% of diseases affecting humans originate directly or indirectly from animals. In the current era of globalization, the emergence or re-emergence of unexpected dreadful diseases is accerelating. According to OIE, it is estimated that five new emerging infectious human disease appear each year, of which three are zoonotic. The Avian flu, Swine flu, recent Ebola epidemic as well as the too numerous human deaths caused each year by rabies, dreadfully remind us of the strong links existing between the health of people, animals and environment. Many of the infectious diseases (e.g avian flu, swine flu, AIDS, CJD, etc) spread in humans come from animals originally. Veterinarians partake in the effort to prevent spread of disease (non-zoonotic and zoonotic) in animals through stringent inspection and quarantine facilities. Veterinary professionals work to promote food security and ensure that food from animals is safe from farm to fork. Through strict inspections and controls, prior and after slaughtering, meat safety is constantly checked. At all phases of the production and distribution of food from animal origin, they are involved in preserving its hygiene and safety.

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About this Article Paper

Dato' Dr. Quaza Nizamudin Hassan Nizam. Veterinary services in Malaysia: Its relevance to nation building.  30th Veterinary Association of Malaysia (VAM) Congress. 19th-20th October, 2018. Hilton Hotel, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.(Abstract of Keynote Speech).

 

Director General of Veterinary Services, Malaysia. Department of Veterinary Services, Ministry of Agriculture & Agro-Based Industry, Wisma Tani, Blok Podium, Lot 4G1, Precint 4, 62624 Putrajaya, Malaysia.


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