From 11 to 13 September 2014, the 18th ESVCN congress was held at the Androclus Building of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Utrecht University. The congress was hosted by the Department of Clinical Sciences of Companion Animals of Utrecht University and the Centre for Animal Nutrition. With over 200 participants from all over the world, the congress can be called a huge success.
The main objective of this congress was to share knowledge of veterinary nutrition, and nutrition related diseases, and to stimulate research in the field of veterinary nutrition. A wide range of nutritional topics was covered, with a pleasant mixture of appealing key note lectures and oral research presentations.
Two representatives of the Centre for Animal Nutrition contributed to the congress as key-note speakers. Prof. Wouter Hendriks contributed with a lecture on the natural feeding ecology of dogs and cats. In his presentation, entitled “The omnivorous dog dogma, and carnivorous cat connection”, he urged to rethink the dogma of dogs as omnivores and laid out a detailed argument in favor of the canine carnivorous nature.
Dr. Ad van Vuuren, who will be retiring in 2015, gave a farewell presentation on the last day of the congress. With the provocative title “Nullius in verba (which is translated as “believe no-one on his word”); how absolute are nutrition and health relationships in dairy cattle” he addressed the effect of dogma’s in dairy cow nutrition, using two examples; relationship between ruminal digestive disorders and laminitis, and the aetiology of metabolic disorders in early lactation. He encouraged (veterinary) nutritionists to utilize facts and insights obtained from well-designed experiments to develop sound unbiased theories, instead of relying on anecdotal or dogmatic data.
Both presentation were well-received and led to fruitful discussions.
For questions related to this news item, please contact Dr. Esther Hagen-Plantinga (Utrecht University).