New Chair For WSAVA’s Global Nutrition Committee
Dr Cecilia Villaverde BVSc, PhD, DACVN, DECVCN (EBVS ® European Specialist in Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition), a Catalan veterinary nutritionist working in Ireland, has been appointed Co-Chair of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association’s (WSAVA’s) Global Nutrition Committee (GNC).
A member of the GNC for eight years, Dr Villaverde succeeds American veterinarian Dr Gregg Takashima and will work with fellow Co-Chair Dr Marge Chandler DVM, MS, MANZCVS, DACVN, DACVIM, MRCVS and the GNC’s members to provide continuing education and resources to support optimal nutrition for dogs and cats.
Dr Villaverde qualified from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), Spain, in 2000, before completing a PhD in animal nutrition. She undertook a small animal nutrition residency at the University of California, Davis, before returning to UAB to head the nutrition service at its teaching hospital until 2016. She has been board-certified in veterinary nutrition since 2010 and currently works as a clinical nutritionist and a nutrition consultant in Ireland.
The GNC is one of the WSAVA’s longest-serving Committees and promotes the importance of high-quality nutrition for companion animals and the central role of the veterinary healthcare team as the expert source of nutritional information.
It has created a set of WSAVA Global Nutrition Guidelines, together with a regularly updated Global Nutrition Toolkit, for use by veterinary teams. Both are available in a range of languages. The Committee’s members are based around the world and hold different roles within the profession. They lecture and publish widely on all aspects of nutrition for companion animals.
Commenting on Dr Villaverde’s appointment, Dr Marge Chandler said: “Working with Gregg Takashima was a joy and we miss him very much. He made an immeasurable contribution to the GNC.
“I am delighted to welcome my new Co-Chair, Dr Cecilia Villaverde, an ACVN and ECVCN diplomate. The GNC has already achieved a great deal this year, including the updating of the resources in our Global Nutrition Toolkit. We have even more planned for the second half of 2021.”
Dr Villaverde said: “Owners want the best for their pets but face an onslaught of confusing or simply wrong information about nutrition and it can be hard for them to navigate their way. Veterinary healthcare teams should, of course, be the first port of call for advice on nutrition.
“We hope they will find that the educational resources we have created in the Global Nutrition Guidelines and accompanying Toolkit, give them the confidence to engage proactively with owners on the subject of nutrition and put them on the right path to feeding their pets an appropriate and well-formulated diet.”
She added: “I am very excited to be working even more closely with Dr Chandler, who is a role model for me.”
The GNC’s work is generously supported by WSAVA Industry Partners the Purina Institute, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, and Royal Canin. The Committee carries out its work independently of its Industry Partners.
The WSAVA represents more than 200,000 veterinarians worldwide through its 115 member associations and works to enhance standards of clinical care for companion animals. Its core activities include the development of WSAVA Global Guidelines in key areas of veterinary practice, including nutrition, pain management and vaccination, together with lobbying on important issues affecting companion animal care worldwide.
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