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Singapore: Site of the 2018 WSAVA World Congress

Colin Burrows, BVetMed, PhD, Hon FRCVS, DACVIM, WSAVA Immediate Past President, Editor in Chief, Clinician’s Brief Global Edition

Ethics & Human-Animal Bond

|May 2017|Web-Exclusive

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Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Convention Center

In early March, your WSAVA executive board met in Singapore, the location of our 2018 Annual Congress, for our annual face-to-face meeting. The meeting gives us an opportunity to discuss the strategic issues that affect the WSAVA’s future and to help us reach our goal of serving all the individual members of our 101 member associations. The meeting also gave us an opportunity to meet with the Singapore local host committee and to plan exciting developments for the 2018 WSAVA World Congress. Singapore is a beautiful city–state, and I urge you to attend what could be one of our best and most spectacular congresses.  

The venue, the Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Convention Center, is stunning. It consists of an iconic hotel linked to a superb mall (Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands), a casino, and the convention center—all built on reclaimed land close to the sea. The top floor of the hotel is a large open air space with the largest infinity pool I have ever seen and fantastic views of the city by night and day. Singapore is also a food-lovers’ paradise. Whatever your taste or budget, there is something for you. All this in addition to the world-class scientific program that you would expect at the WSAVA World Congress.

The WSAVA executive board held a members’ forum in Singapore. 

The WSAVA executive board held a members’ forum in Singapore. 

As is our custom, the executive board also held a members’ forum in Singapore. We welcomed representatives from 9 regional member associations for a day of fascinating interaction. For many, it was the first time they had met, but they found that they faced similar challenges. They gave us plenty to think about as we strive to exceed member expectations.  

Issues in the region include drug availability; the government and regulatory environment; the lack of a veterinary nursing profession; problems in meeting rising client expectations with limited resources; a lack of accepted standards of practice in most countries; and the vagaries of national CE requirements. Although there are many issues in need of attention, drug availability is our first priority because of its huge implications for animal welfare. The problem must be solved at a local level, but we will do all that we can to provide advocacy, counsel, and support.

National Orchid Garden

National Orchid Garden

Although the March meeting was mostly work, the gardener in me had to satisfy some cravings. Singapore is not called the Garden City for nothing. A short bridge away from the hotel sits the Gardens by the Bay, a magnificent set of gardens with the now famous “Supertrees” and 2 Biodomes—enormous greenhouse-like structures that contain a diversity of plant materials, from rain forest to desert. The Singapore Botanic Gardens are world famous and not to be missed. I spent a happy extra day wandering and admiring—especially the National Orchid Garden, which has more than 1000 species in easily viewed and realistic settings.

On behalf of the executive board, I would like to say a big thank you to our President-Elect Shane Ryan and his wife, Jean, who were wonderful hosts. They provided us with a spectrum of experiences, from a river cruise, where we learned the history of the city, to the opportunity to eat the national dish of chicken rice and real Indian food served on banana leaves.  

Come to Singapore in September 2018. You will leave with much new learning, many new friends, and memories and experiences that will last a lifetime. 

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