In April 2019, sixteen veterinarians from seven European nations attended a course in Ostend, Belgium to earn the Veterinary Specialist Qualification under the EURopean Oiled Wildlife Assistance (EUROWA) network.
The course, given to veterinarians affiliated with EUROWA member organisations, was the first in a series of events made possible through grant funding by Aramco, which aim to further strengthen the network’s preparedness for oiled wildlife response. Lecture and table top sessions were held at the Hotel Vayamundo, which also provided accommodation for course attendees.
Lectures, hands-on sessions, and table top exercises designed around decision-making processes, formed the core of the course which aided participants in understanding how the Veterinary Specialist positions integrate into the overall oiled wildlife response. Dr. Ian Robinson, a Sea Alarm affiliated veterinary wildlife expert, led the veterinary training, conforming to EUROWA standards, which focused on the health, husbandry and welfare challenges of wildlife response, and the various functions of Veterinary Specialists during a spill. Hugo Nijkamp explained how the EUROWA network functions, and facilitated some facility management table tops.
All participants successfully completed the course, received their EUROWA qualification, and were added to the EUROWA responder database.
Two additional EUROWA courses – An Advance Responder Course and a Response Specialist Course – will be held in late 2019 and early 2020, also made possible through the grant from Aramco.