Argentinian Animal Welfare Educator to Receive 2022 WSAVA Companion Animal Welfare Award
Dr Silvina Muñiz, an Argentinian veterinarian who uses mass media to educate owners about responsible pet ownership and who campaigns on animal welfare issues, is the recipient of this year's World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) Award for Companion Animal Welfare.
Since 2004, Dr Muñiz has presented a TV show called 'VETv/Canal Vet', which educates owners as to how to care for their pets and informs them about disease prevention. Its content is endorsed by respected veterinary associations and institutions, including the Universidad de Buenos Aires and the Asociación de Veterinarios de Animales de Compañía de Argentina (AVEACA). AVEACA is a member association of the WSAVA.
In addition to VETv, Dr Muñiz regularly contributes educational content to a range of veterinary online portals, magazines, newspapers and veterinary conferences. She also participates in TV and radio programs in which pet care and welfare is discussed. In 2019, she played a leading role in a debate held in the Argentine National Congress Lower House regarding reform of Law No. 14,346 in Argentina, which covers the prevention of animal cruelty.
Dr Muñiz graduated from the Universidad Nacional de La Plata in 1987 and has continued her own veterinary education with post-graduate courses on topics including Clinical Medicine, Internal Medicine, Radiology and Ethology. She has also interviewed leading veterinary professionals at Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain, and UC Davis Veterinary Medicine, USA., to gain insights on health prevention and client education for companion animals, both at teaching hospitals and in veterinary practice settings.
In addition to her media work, she is a director of veterinary hospital VET Clínica in Buenos Aires and veterinary director of Dog Run Argentina, an association which oversees the health and welfare of dogs participating in sport. Dr Muñiz was Chair of AVEACA from May 2017 until May 2022 and is currently its Vice President. She is also the Argentine Representative to the Federación Iberoamericana de Asociaciones Veterinarias de Animales de Compañía.
Commenting on the Award to Dr Muñiz, Dr Cheryl Good, member of the WSAVA's Animal Wellness and Welfare Committee (AWWC), said: "The recipient of this year's WSAVA Companion Animal Welfare Award was selected by a panel comprising three AWWC members; a member of the WSAVA Executive Board and a member of the Local Host Committee for this year's World Congress.
"All of the nominees were worthy candidates which made our decision very difficult, but we were delighted to make the award to Dr Muñiz in recognition of her commitment to using a wide range of media to promote animal welfare and educate the public about ownership and animal health. Her utter determination to raise standards of animal welfare in homes, in communities and amongst her peers is clear and she works very hard to achieve her goal. Congratulations to Dr Silvina Muñiz!"
The WSAVA Companion Animal Welfare Award recognizes individual veterinarians who have made a significant contribution to animal welfare and inspired others to play their part in advancing welfare globally. Dr Muñiz will receive her award during this year's WSAVA World Congress, which takes place from 29-31 October in Lima, Peru.
Dr Muñiz said: "It is with great honour that I receive such an important recognition. Human beings and animals share the same planet. We need to understand and respect each other. As veterinarians, we can educate on the responsible ownership of companion animals, contributing to animal welfare, and therefore promoting love and peace worldwide".
The WSAVA represents more than 200,000 veterinarians worldwide through its 115 member associations and works to enhance standards of clinical care for companion animals. Its core activities include the development of WSAVA Global Guidelines in key areas of veterinary practice, including pain management, nutrition and vaccination, together with lobbying on important issues affecting companion animal care worldwide.
The work of the AWWC is proudly supported by WSAVA Diamond Partner, the Purina Institute.