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Hill’s Highlights Good News Story

14 years ago

20th April, 2010 00h00

Milan was recently the scene for an annual event that has become a highlight of the Italian veterinary calendar. The Season of Prevention campaign (SOP) has been developed by Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Italy in association with the AMNVI – the national veterinary association – and attracts phenomenal interest. In 2009 it resulted in a fantastic 14,000 pet owners visiting veterinary practices. This year the focus was on pet mobility problems – common conditions that blight the lives of thousands of dogs and cats. Key to the event is the participation of 3,200 vets who offer relevant free health checks for dogs and cats for one month – this year in March. With only 25% of Italian pet owners regularly taking their pet to a vet there is a need to focus on raising awareness of the benefits of good veterinary care and this campaign achieves just that. The lead event, launching the campaign was attended by the Health Minister for Veterinary matters Francesca Martini and over 50 journalists with an interest in animal health, despite taking place in February at Milan racecourse in sub zero temperatures and snow. With an aim to educate and get across the key messages, talks were delivered by Paola Badiale Vet Affairs Manager for Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Carlo Annese a sports journalist, Marina Debernardi General Manager of Hill’s Italy, Carlo Scotti Senior President of the ANMVI, Francesca Martini Health Minister for Veterinary matters and Massimo Petazzoni Vet and Chair of Pet Obesity Task Force POTF. Charismatic Ms Martini was particularly unequivocal in her support, highlighting the need to prevent and raise awareness of all the issues around pet mobility impairment. Dog jumping over hurdle One of the dogs from the Agility Team The talks were reinforced by an impressive display from a unique pack of dogs. One of Italy’s top canine agility teams, supported by Hill’s, is made up of dogs of all ages and sizes that have been treated for mobility problems with Hill’s j/d. Using a suitable course that reflected their individual needs, the dogs demonstrated the wide ranging movement and flexibility they have been able to aspire to. Although it is well established that Britain is a nation of animal lovers, the Italians have fully embraced this particular pet care campaign. This is reflected in the media coverage of the event, with Italian national newspaper Corriere featuring the story and over 100 other articles in press, ensuring that the message is heard by millions of people across the country. ( While the UK has a more mature market in veterinary terms, this well orchestrated campaign shows the positive way the media can engage with the veterinary profession in the right context. With thousands more dogs and cats receiving the treatment they need, that is to be congratulated.

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