Modern veterinary medicine is quickly taking root in the People’s Republic of China. The International Veterinary Collaboration for China (IVCC) – formed in November 2010 with the help of Zoetis (formerly Pfizer Animal Health) -- is making strides in helping to advance veterinary medical education and practice standards there.

The world’s first international animal health consortium in China, IVCC includes such leading veterinary universities as University of California Davis; Iowa State University; the University of Minnesota; Kansas State University; the Royal Veterinary College, University of London; the University of Nottingham; and Cornell University.

Zoetis is the only global animal health company currently participating, and, as the founding member, is the primary industry leader in the initiative.  In March 2012, the animal health company facilitated an agreement between IVCC and the Chinese Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) to collaborate in their mutual aims to advance the veterinary profession and animal health.

The collaboration comes at a time when the profession is ripe for mutual learning and sharing of experiences. An estimated 300,000 or more veterinarians practice in China today. With roughly 1.3 billion people and a rapidly increasing standard of living, China is the world’s fastest growing consumer of animal protein. In particular, there is strong consumer demand for pork, dairy, and poultry products. Further, there are more than 50 million pets in China—24 million dogs and 30 million cats. And that number continues to grow significantly each year.  

“Traditionally, veterinarians in China have been under-valued, said Tony Zilong Tan, Group Director, Business Development and Global Alliances, Zoetis (formerly Pfizer Animal Health).  “Now, the country needs additional, qualified veterinarians, professional veterinary support, and strategic animal health management to address the increasing demand for safe and affordable animal protein and help in the transition to a modern food-producing economy.”

China’s agricultural economy is undergoing a transition, relying less on small, independent farms and more on the integrated, technology-based systems that are typical of industrialized nations. As production systems ramp up, so does the need for veterinarians and for support from animal health companies that have valuable experience in the needs of modern production.

“IVCC is the first collaboration of its kind between western veterinary groups and the Chinese veterinary profession,” said Michelle Haven, Vice President, Business Development, Global Alliances and Strategic Planning, Zoetis (formerly Pfizer Animal Health). “Further, Zoetis is the only animal health company to have such close ties with leading veterinary institutions in both China and the west.”

“The enhancements and increased attention to animal health and veterinary medicine in China is a very exciting direction for the country,” said Mike Wang, Zoetis Division Director, China. “With the new agreement for the IVCC and CVMA to work in concert, veterinary medicine in China will be enabled to keep pace with the country’s changes in agricultural production and have a real impact on the overall economy.”