x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Emirati vet to set up national association to govern UAE's animal doctors

There are more than 400 veterinary doctors in Dubai alone, but no professional association to represent them.

DUBAI // One of only two practising Emirati vets yesterday announced plans to set up a national body to represent the profession.

There are more than 400 vets in Dubai and many more in Abu Dhabi and elsewhere, but there is no professional organisation.

“I have been working on establishing a veterinary society for the UAE,” Dr Majid Al Qassimi told fellow practitioners at a forum in Dubai.

“It’s been suggested before but I believe now is the time more than ever to reach out to each other and to reach out to the support of the Government.

“The Ministry of Environment and Water [Dr Rashid bin Fahad] is very keen to have this happen. It came from the minister himself. He said: ‘We need a body to be able to communicate with’.”

Dr Al Qassimi urged other vets to support the initiative, and said he hoped the society would be up and running by the end of the year.

The organisation will provide information and enable vets to communicate with the Government, regulators and each other.

It will also help them to understand the constraints that some of them faced.

Dr Al Qassimi studied in the UK and Hungary, and worked initially at Al Ain Zoo before joining the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi.

He works with in-house animal collections, which contain more than 30,000 specimens, and said he was keen to see more Emiratis in the profession.

“As one of the few nationals working against the stereotype, when I was studying it was seen to be a dirty job,” Dr Al Qassimi said.

“And I’ll admit if you have your elbow deep in an animal, it’s a dirty job. But there’s a lot of pride in being able to do what I do.”

Dr Al Qassimi was the keynote speaker at the Veterinary Outlook Forum, which was held alongside the VETme trade show at Dubai World Trade Centre.