New Private Veterinarian Associations Deliver Essential Services for Improved Animal Health and Production in Georgia (May 15)

New Private Veterinarian Associations Deliver Essential Services for Improved Animal Health and Production in Georgia (May 15)

RUSTAVI, GEORGIA – More than 30 individuals gathered for the opening ceremony of the Kvemo Kartli private Veterinarians’ Regional Association (VRA) on May 16 at the Hotel Vejini.   The event was co-hosted by the Georgia Institute of Public Affairs’ Georgia Rural Development Department (GIPA-GRDD), Colorado State University (CSU) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a part of a long-running National Animal Health Program.

Private Veterinarian Regional Associations ensure the long-term sustainability of veterinarians, who are the primary beneficiaries, by building organizational capacity and raising veterinary skills. VRAs have consistently proven to yield healthier animals, more prosperous farmers and eventually safer, more economic food production for both domestic consumption and export.

“Private VRA’s are vital to both the health and productivity of the livestock sector in Georgia,” said GIPA-GRDD program manager, Nana Kashakashvili. “We are working to both strengthen the skills and tools of veterinarians and to raise public awareness about the importance of professional veterinarian services.”

The USDA and its partners provide technical training for VRAs based on international scientific standards as well as policy guidance at the national level. Establishment of VRAs is a key component of the national animal health program strategy and is endorsed by the Ministry of Agriculture.

“Scientific technical capacity building is essential for veterinarians. CSU is proud to serve as an international technical partner in this effort,” said Debby Reynolds, CSU.

The Kremo Kartli VRA represents the seventh VRA established by the program since 2008. Other regions include Imereti, Shida Kartli, Achara, Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti, Kakheti, Samtskhe-Javakheti. These seven VRAs unite 270 private veterinarians who are active in their profession throughout Georgia. This is a radical transformation and mobilization since inception reversing a long period of decline in availability of veterinary services in the country.

“The National Food Agency works closely with VRAs in the delivery of our animal vaccination and disease control programs across the country,” said Mirangula Liparteliani, regional National Food Agency representative. “We welcome the establishment of a new VRA in Kremo Kartli.”

The opening ceremony included an exchange of best practices and experiences among VRA members from other regions, a memorandum of understanding signing with college “Eliti” for education exchange, and the delivery of membership certificates to Kvemo Kartli’s newly-established VRA members.