[Message from the Chairman]
Enacted in 1997, the Veterinary Surgeons Registration Ordinance (Cap. 529) provides for the establishment of the Veterinary Surgeons Board of Hong Kong (the “Board”) which is responsible for the regulation of the practice of veterinary surgery, the registration of veterinary surgeons, and the disciplinary control of the professional activities of registered veterinary surgeons in Hong Kong. Currently, there are over 700 registered veterinary surgeons, a nearly fivefold increase since its establishment.
In upholding veterinary standards, the Board has implemented a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) monitoring system to keep veterinary surgeons abreast of the latest developments in veterinary science and medicine. Fifteen years from the first Comparative Study of Veterinary Qualifications (the “Study”) conducted in 1997/8, the Board has again given its full support to the Government’s launch of the second Study in 2010. The Study is aimed at reviewing the minimum requirements for registration as veterinary surgeons in Hong Kong with reference to the latest development in the curriculums in veterinary medicine and surgery in various parts of the world over the past decade.
The challenges facing the Board in the years ahead have changed as the role of veterinary surgeons in the community evolves. Veterinary Surgeons are no longer just animal “doctors”. With the increasing global threats of zoonotic and new and emerging diseases such as avian influenza and “mad cow disease” (BSE), coupled with food safety issues and increasing demand for animal products arising from increasing economic growth and human populations, veterinary surgeons are central to the human-animal relationship. The emergence of health risks associated with globalization creates an ever greater need for veterinary surgeons to play a leading role in disease surveillance and to mitigate these risks at their source in animals, regardless of whether they threaten animals, humans or both. Thus, the demand for quality veterinary services is not only for the care of companion animals, but for the prevention of zoonoses and advancement of public health as well. I am confident that on the basis of the solid ground work laid down by my very capable predecessors, and the continued dedication and support of fellow Board members, the good work of the Board will continue and the veterinary profession will develop for the better and increasingly benefit the community in the years to come.
Professor CHING Pak-chung, BBS