Veterinarian is known as one that has the role to prevent animals from getting infected as well as a person that can overcome disease through therapy, eradication, etc. But veterinary profession also has great role in securing the safety of food coming from animal sources that is consumed by human.
“The role of veterinarians is very important because veterinarians contribute to crucial solutions, such as safety of food from animal, and eradication of zoonosis and non-zoonosis diseases; also research and development for comparative medicine, etc,” said Dean of Faculty of Veterinary Medicine UGM, Prof. Dr. Drh. Siti Isrina Oktavia Salasia, on Friday (27/4).
The obligations of veterinarians, she explained, include the provision of safe and healthy food that sourced from animal. Food provision monitoring by vets has to be done also in the cattle provision.
“This is important to do since the meat consumed by Indonesian people are possibly not halal. Even the halal food can also be unsafe if it contains zoonosis disease, hazardous chemicals or hormones, or antibiotics residual,” she added.
This message was presented ahead of the World Veterinary Day on 28 April, which raises theme The Role of the Veterinary Profession in Sustainable Development to Improve Livelihoods, Food Security and Safety. The event is celebrated worldwide with activities such as seminar, workshop, and others to give information to people on the role of vets in various walks of life.
Siti explained challenge and opportunity facing veterinarians were their preparedness for a strategic position in the country as a strategic decision maker. She added vets had to be able to act as agent of change, understand veterinary legislations well, and able to uplift the professional existence of veterinarians in the global scope. They also need to put roles of their professional association not only on cattle but also pet animal.
Veterinary professional also has to play their role in securing food safety from antibiotics resistance problem that has become a major problem around the world in the past decade.
“Veterinarians have to be able to play their role in controlling antimicrobial resistance in Indonesia. Understanding of antimicrobial resistance will maintain sustainability and health both animals and human,” she said.