Injustice to Vets

The veterinary profession is one of the noblest professions because vets are supposed to treat and cure deaf and dumb creatures. The basic principle of this specialized branch is quite similar to that of human medical sciences. But the job profile of vet doctor is much more sophisticated compared to a general physician or a surgeon. There is a great role of veterinary research in human society. 

As quoted by Rudolf Virchow “Between animal and human medicine there is no dividing line nor should there be. The object is different but the experience obtained constitutes the basis of all medicine”. Rudolf Virchow’s statement is as wise today as it was over a century ago. That all animal species, including Homo sapiens, are related and that knowledge gained in one species benefits all lead to the concept of “One Health, One Medicine”. 

The one health concept is a worldwide strategy for expanding interdisciplinary collaborations and communications in all aspects of health care for humans, animals, and the environment. The synergism achieved will advance health care for the 21st century and beyond by accelerating biomedical research discoveries, enhancing public health efficacy, expeditiously expanding the scientific knowledge base, and improving medical education and clinical care. When properly implemented, it will help protect and save untold millions of lives in our present and future generations. The medical profession would realize to take vet profession along with for more than 70% human infections derive their source from animals. Hence, vet medicine is fundamentally a human health activity. 

+ In our state Jammu & Kashmir, the picture is totally different. The condition of the profession and the professionals is totally in jeopardy. Currently more than 800 vets out of which more than 500 are holding post graduate degrees in veterinary medicine & some with doctorate degrees but jobless. Everyone joined the profession with a dream of being employed one day and to serve the society with full zeal and zest but unfortunately, it looks a mirage now. A few months back J&K PSC announced only 24 posts which were nothing but a joke for vets. In J & k there is no second option for the veterinary doctors except the job of the veterinary assistant surgeon (VAS) because there is no private sector in our valley, even not a single authorized slaughter house. If there is no requirement of vets, the govt should close the veterinary factory of SKUAST. What for they are taking more than 200 students every year in veterinary faculty & why they keep seats of BVSC in competitive exams. This indicates a mockery and nothing else. As we all know about the demand for the separate veterinary university in Kashmir for last two decades, even endorsed by Late Mufti Muhammad Sayed but nothing concrete has been done by the successive governments till date regarding the creation of the veterinary university. Recently, J&K PSC conducted exam on 6th Feb but the grave situation made unemployed veterinary doctors association to boycott the public service commission exam with the objective of creation of all vacant posts. But unfortunately, some blue eyed candidates were already in the examination center. It’s so unfortunate that police even attacked the veterinary doctors while holding a protest in Jammu demanding an increase in veterinary posts. As per reports, there is a tremendous shortage of staff in the sheep and animal husbandry department. According to figures more than 1200 posts of veterinary assistant surgeons (VAS) are vacant across the length and breadth of the state. Why govt is not taking this problem as a matter of concern. If Govt thinks there is no need of veterinary doctors they must stop using & consuming daily livestock products like milk, meat, poultry, cheese, paneer, wool etc. Even Govt is doing injustice with animals in Jammu & Kashmir because they create posts for para-vets but not for the highly qualified veterinary doctors. It’s totally unethical that animal diseases are treated by para-vets in the field because of lack of staff. Govt of Jammu & Kashmir does not consider department of animal husbandry as a priority based sector but they have no idea about the potential of the livestock sector. Livestock embodies saving and may provide a reserve against emergencies. If an urgent need for funding arises, for a special occasion or a disaster such as a drought, animals may be sold to raise the needed money or slaughtered and consumed to provide food energy and protein. So, livestock sector has an important role to play in national economic development, and within the agricultural sector.  It’s a humble request to the Govt of Jammu & Kashmir from whole veterinary fraternity to fix our issues and give us the opportunity to serve our state and our profession. 

“Unemployment is bigger than a political party. It is a national danger and a national    scandal.”  — Ellen Wilkinson


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