The Ruminants Track will also host the annual Ruminant Veterinary Association of South Africa (RuVASA) Congress.

The Ruminant Tracks will be convened under the theme Opportunities for ruminant veterinary practitioners”

Globally with a growing population who will be demanding more high-quality and wholesome protein the challenge is to produce this in a sustainable manner in the face of constrained natural resources such as limited arable land and fresh water.

In this context it highlights our dependence on healthy animals and accentuating the even greater and more critical role of the food producing or more specific the ruminant veterinarian helping farm animal producers improve productivity for high-quality, safe, and sustainable food supply in the medium to long term.

As ruminant veterinarians we need to embrace this challenge. As part of the 39th World Veterinary Association from 16 to 19 April 2024 there will be specific focused presentations addressing issues specific to ruminant veterinarians.

Under the overall theme of the conference:  Resilience in the face of adversity – the ruminant scientific program committee (SPC) is inviting national and international speakers as a first step to submit their abstracts to address Opportunities for Ruminant veterinary practitioners in the short, medium or long term in support of our endeavour as ruminant veterinarians not only to improve our offering to our customers but also to support producers to improve their productivity and to produce food more sustainable especially in the context of One Health.

The following framework may provide more clarity on which topics we want to focus on and what we would like to achieve with the discussions at the ruminant conference as part of the larger WVA conference.

Five focus areas (indicated in green in the table below) with proposed focus areas and topics have been identified. You are invited to submit abstracts aligned to the focus areas or the proposed topics for any ruminant. You are welcome to submit any other topics preferably aligned to the overall theme and sub-theme of the conference as well as one or more of the focus areas.

Focus area #1 – Expanding our access to technology
FocusSuggested topics
Technology: Opening doors to new markets
  • The implementation of new technologies to add value to veterinary services in ruminants
An integrated approach to care – Evidence based Herd Health
  • Predictions of future pandemics with a specific focus on ruminant related zoonotic diseases
  • Optimal detection and prevention of herd related diseases and syndromes
  • The prudent use of antimicrobials in the context of a herd health approach – our role as gatekeepers of inhibitory substances in milk and meat.
Focus Area #2 – How to become more knowledgeable in the face of adversity
FocusSuggested topics
  • How can it be used to the advantage of the veterinarian and/or the producer (sustainability)
  • Using genomics for improved control of ticks and tick-borne diseases
  • Genomic tools for proper management and conservation of indigenous livestock  kept by smallholder farmers
  • Epigenetics and its Impact on Genomics
  • How can it be used to the advantage of the veterinarian and/or the producer (sustainability)
  • New POC (Point of care) developments for veterinary practitioner
  • Practical PCT and RT PCR for the ruminant practitioner
Digital tools
  • How can it be used to the advantage of the veterinarian and/or the producer (sustainability)
Big data
  • How can it be used to the advantage of the veterinarian and/or the producer (sustainability)
  • Integrating data from nutritionists, geneticists, disease profiles etc to the advantage of veterinarians and the clients
The global impact of ruminants
  • The environment
  • Carbon sequestration/ footprint
  • Climate change
  • Methane gas production
  • Socio economic aspects
  • Food security
Antimicrobial resistance – The next pandemic
  • The role of the veterinarian and producers
  • AMR and udder health
  • AMR and the environment
  • AMR and One Health
Acaricide resistance
  • The latest on prevention and treatment of tick-borne diseases
  • Tick borne vaccines – BM86 and beyond
Anthelminthic resistance
  • Have we lost the battle or the war? – Future developments
  • Emerging diseases – are we prepared?
  • FMD – vaccines as an alternative approach
  • Old diseases – new vaccines i.e. mRNA and vector vaccines
  • Maximising the neonate immune system
  • The chancing face of the immune system during the transition to lactation
  • Impact of stress on the immune system of ruminant
  • Latest development in vaccines
  • The mammary gland and the immune system
  • The GI system and immunity – where it all begins
  • Microbiome colonisation and gut immunity
  • Reproductive immunity
  • Respiratory immunity
Focus Area #3 – Increased expertise to make us more resilient (to differentiate ourselves)
FocusSuggested topics
Reproductive health
  • Latest developments on effective prevention and early detection for reproductive diseases
  • Venereal diseases (Trich and Vibrio)
  • Genetic testing for diseases
  • Point of Care (POC) testing for reproductive diseases
Erosive or emerging diseases – new developments
  • Foot and mouth disease
  • Bovine brucellosis
  • Bovine tuberculosis
  • Mycoplasma bovis
  • Enzootic bovine leucosis
  • Bovine viral diarrhoea virus
  • Ovine Johne’s disease
  • Pest de petits ruminants
Diagnostic data
  • How to integrate data into the development of immunisation programs
  • How to integrate data into the development of Biosecurity programs
  • How to integrate data into the development of Treatment protocols (Total quality management)
Focus Area #4 – Are we as veterinarians ready for the age of digitalisation


Suggested topics

Monitoring health and productivity in a digitalised world

  • New developments on an individual animal and herd health basis – records and record keeping

How we as veterinarians can use the developments in digitalisation to our advantage

  • For improved connection with our customers (producers)
  • Can social media be used to our advantage as practitioners to maintain our on-farm influence and still play a pivotal role in supplying our services and prescribing of veterinary products  
  • Can we as practitioners improve our offering in a digitalised world
  • Did we as veterinarians fell behind with “the internet of things” 
Focus Area #5 – Can we as ruminant veterinarians remain resilient and transform our industry and our businesses


Suggested topics

Primary Animal Health care (PAHC)

  • PAHC: an opportunity to us as ruminant veterinarians 
  • The role of veterinary paraprofessionals to optimise animal health
  • The implementation of a practical training program at PAHC level 

A global phenomenon – a shortage of ruminant veterinarians

  • An academic perspective on the way forward
  • An opportunity or a threat? 
  • How to establish access to veterinary services and products to all role players

Public Private partnerships (PPP’s)

  • Real world examples of success stories
  • Why do we have success stories and failures when it comes to PPP’s