British vets concerned about climate change and public health threats have launched a group dedicated to being a 'leading force for sustainability'.
'Vet Sustain', a veterinary industry world first body, has been set up in response to pressing societal issues such as biodiversity loss and livestock welfare challenges.
According to the group, it meets the calls of the Vet Futures and VN Futures projects for the veterinary professions to increase their prominence in sustainability.
Dr Laura Higham, Vet Sustain founder, said the group would be a platform for the veterinary community to 'come together and take collective action'.
“We understand the inextricable links between human, animal and environmental wellbeing," she said.
"But it’s time for our influence and duty to reach beyond the patients under our care, to all animals that are impacted by human activity.”
The organisation is currently focused on three key topics through their working groups: food and farming, sustainability in veterinary education and the environmental footprints of veterinary practices.
Dr Simon Doherty, a director of Vet Sustain, said that veterinary professionals occupied an 'extraordinary niche' for driving the sustainability agenda.
“By taking steps such as reducing the carbon footprint and supporting regenerative forms of agriculture, vets can address the impacts of our own activities and the sectors we influence.”
Dr Higham added that she was 'confident' that Vet Sustain can support veterinary professionals to become a 'leading force for sustainability'.
“To support a sustainable future, we must tackle climate change, and promote healthy and biodiverse ecosystems,” she said.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has given a recent stark reminder of the importance of protecting nature to also protect humanity.”