Veterinary anaesthesia began its development as a separate specialty over 48 years ago. The Association of Veterinary Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland (now AVA) was formed and held its first meeting in October 1964. Ten years later, the American College of Veterinary Anesthesiologists was organized in the United States and approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association in 1975. The name was changed in 2012 and is now the American College of Anesthesia and Analgesia (ACVAA). The European College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia (ECVAA) was established in 1993. There are other veterinary associations in Australia and other parts of the world.
The First International Congress of Veterinary Anaesthesia was held in 1982 and there have been congresses every three years since. The name was changed to the World Congress of Veterinary Anaesthesiology in 1997 (WCVA) and for consistency this is the title listed for all the Congresses. WCVA was registered as a Professional Services Corporation in the state of Michigan, USA November 21, 2002.

1st World Congress of Veterinary Anaesthesiology

Inaugural Meeting

September 16 – 18, 1982
Cambridge, England
Chair: Dr. Leslie Hall

A proposal was made to hold a scientific meeting for the small group of veterinary anaesthetists and anesthesiologists from around the world. The organising committee, the Association of Veterinary Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland*, acted on this proposal and invited veterinary anaesthetists to Cambridge. Dr Leslie Hall and assistants were the hosts. This meeting invited eminent speakers and others from local and overseas destinations to present seminars and research abstracts. All presentations were at the lecture theatres at the Cavendish laboratories very near to the University of Cambridge Veterinary School. Accommodation for the delegates was at Girton College on campus. There were many opportunities for delegates and accompanying persons to meet each other informally over drinks at the various social events that were part of the Congress programme. Attendance was about 100 delegates from about 15 countries.
There was very enthusiastic support to continue with the concept to hold future veterinary anesthesia meetings and that the interval should be every 3 years. Most felt that September would offer the best possibility of attendance and provide good rates for attendees. Don Sawyer proposed the next meeting be in 1985 at a location in North America.
* Weaver B, and Hall L W (2005) Editorial: Origin of the Association of Veterinary Anaesthetists. Vet Anaes Analg. 32, 179-183.

2nd World Congress of Veterinary Anaesthesiology

October 7-10, 1985
Sacramento and Davis, California
Co – Chairs: Dr. Don Sawyer and Dr. Gene Steffey

Site selection for the second congress was based on a number of considerations. At the closing in Cambridge, North American attendees pursued organization of a second meeting with a target date of 3 or 4 years. The ACVA and its membership were considered essential and had been holding its annual meeting in conjunction with the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA). It was important to continue this arrangement. In addition, the oral exam for qualifying residents had always been held in association with the ACVA Annual Meeting. The ASA was scheduled to be held in San Francisco, October 12 – 16 plus there was an added incentive of a contingent of veterinarians attending from Japan. The venue was the El Rancho Motel-Meeting Complex in Sacramento. This location was in close proximity to the Veterinary School in Davis and offered much valuable meeting essentials, organizational support and other resources. Following enthusiastic endorsement by the ACVA, underwriting commitments were also received from the Department of Surgery at CVM UCD, the AVA, and many commercial vendors of which North American Drager was an early important, enthusiastic supporter. The 4 day event was attended by 195 registrants from 15 countries and included 3.5 days of oral presentations and poster sessions. Special state of the art talks were given by Theodore Stanley, M.D. and E.I. Eger, II, M.D. A half day for touring the veterinary school at the UCD campus was included. An evening reception was held at the UCD Faculty Club at which time Dr. Mike Rex announced with great enthusiasm that he and colleagues would host a third Congress in 1988 in Brisbane, Australia. The main speaker at the Congress Banquet was Forrest Tancer of Iron Horse Winery located in nearby Sonoma County. He presented the fine points of enjoying wine and coordinated with hotel staff paring wines with each of the 6 food courses of the Banquet. This event is easily remembered by the impressive glassware place setting for each individual at banquet tables. Needless to say, a good time was had by all! Concluding the meeting was bus transportation to San Francisco but with prearranged stops at various wineries in Napa and Sonoma Counties prior to the reaching city destinations.

3rd World Congress of Veterinary Anaesthesiology

August 28 – September 2, 1988
Brisbane, Australia
Chair: Dr. Mike Rex

This Third Congress was held at the University of Queensland, Brisbane chaired by then Dean, Mike Rex. The one-day of continuing education seminars or “Refresher Course”, and the Congress scientific lectures plus research abstract presentations were held in the veterinary school lecture theatres. Accommodation for the delegates was at Duchesne College, one of the university residential colleges, a short walk away. The hospitality offered by the folks down under was enjoyable and included some evening meals in local restaurants where seafood was a specialty. Wednesday afternoon was free to visit World Expo ’88, an international Expo held in Brisbane. After the Congress papers, a one-day bus tour through the Darling Downs region west of Brisbane to a large equine practice and then the Jondaryan Woolshed and agricultural museum was another of the social events. During the meeting, veterinary anesthetists and accompanying persons were able to renew and continue friendships made at the two previous anesthesia congresses. By this stage, the name of International Congress of Veterinary Anaesthesia had established itself. The spelling was in recognition of the First Congress held in Cambridge, England. Leslie Hall indicated that this was really a misspelling by the British but it eventually became adopted as the UK spelling of the word. At the closing ceremony, Dr. Evert Lagerweij enthusiastically welcomed us to join him in the Netherlands for the 4th Congress. Attendance was about 150 from 14 countries.

4th World Congress of Veterinary Anaesthesiology

August 26 – 30, 1991
Utrecht, The Netherlands
Chair: Dr. Evert Lagerweij

The veterinary school on the campus of the University of Utrecht was the site of the 4th congress. All scientific sessions were held at the college with lodging accommodations available in local motels in the area. They had a good representation of vendors providing the most advanced exhibits of veterinary anesthesia supplies and equipment. Of note, those in attendance were impressed with the immense size of the classroom and hospital buildings including bicycles that were available for transport of clinical items such as laboratory specimens and radiographs. The scientific sessions were of great value and the local staff of students and faculty made this a memorable congress. There were 89 papers presented to 166 attendees representing 27 countries. The social day was spent on buses carrying us to the North Sea and ports of call around this country that is mostly below sea level. Dr. Lagerweij surprised everyone by presenting the unique trophy he designed to Dr. McDonell, the next chair, and offered the challenge to carry on the new tradition.

4th 1991

4th International Congress of Veterinary Anaesthesiology. Utrecht, The Netherlands. 1991.

5th World Congress of Veterinary Anaesthesiology

August 22 -25, 1994
Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Chair: Dr. Wayne McDonell

The August dates were scheduled to permit pre-term use of University of Guelph lecture and residence accommodation space. The annual meeting of the ACVA was cancelled and replaced by the WCVA that year, and the organizers wanted to make it financially feasible for residents and graduate students to attend the meeting.
The meeting had 3 full days of scientific presentations with featured speakers. A total of 211 abstract presentations were given in oral and poster format. A conference sponsored half-day social event for all attendees consisted of a bus trip to Niagara Falls and the historic village Niagara-by-the-Lake, followed by a barbeque dinner at a local park, complete with music and a magic show by Dr Roman Skarda. A most memorable dinner and social evening for the speakers and session moderators was held on the shore of Lake Belwood at Dr Dyson’s cottage. A total of 216 full or day registrants attended the Congress from 25 countries, with 90 USA, 45 Canadian and 27 UK attendees being the most represented. There were 32 student attendees and 45 accompanying family members. At the closing ceremony, Dr. McDonell offered the traveling trophy to Dr. Dimitris Raptopoulos, who would host the 6th Congress in Greece.

6th World Congress of Veterinary Anaesthesiology

Thessaloniki, Greece
September 23 – 27, 1997
Chair: Dr. Dimitris Raptopoulos

The 6th Congress was held in the Sani Convention Centre of the Sani Beach Hotel – Kassandra – Halkidiki – Greece. The scientific program consisted of 4 keynote lectures and 8 seminars given by invited speakers. There were153 presentations, of which 111 were oral and 42 posters. The commercial exhibition featured anesthetic equipment, diagnostic and monitoring devices, anaesthetic and ancillary drugs, and scientific books.
The social program of the Congress included a Greek night in a traditional Greek taverna, a Gala Dinner and a visit to the City of Thessaloniki. We also visited the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and museum which houses the magnificent findings of Vergina, dating back to King Philip time of 4th century BC. Participants also had the opportunity to take advantage of the excellent beaches and facilities within the hotel or visiting some of tourist and historic places around the country. On the day following the Congress, a day Seminar on Small Animal Anaesthesia and Intensive Care was organized for Greek practioners. There were more than 255 scientific participants representing 37 countries. A special feature was country flags that were printed on the congress name badges. Total attendance was 401 including commercial exhibition personnel and accompanying persons.

7th World Congress of Veterinary Anaesthesiology

September 20 -23, 2000
Berne, Switzerland
Chair: Prof. Dr. Urs Schatzman

The veterinary school at the University of Berne was the venue for the 7th Congress, for the first time under the name of “WCVA”. The Congress was presented in the Center for Technical Sciences next to the main university building just above the railway station and a short walk away from old town and hotels. Three lecture theatres and a large auditorium with enough space for the trade exhibition and the poster exhibition proved to be an ideal surrounding for all the sessions and scientific presentations. The program was presented over three days of Congress work starting each with presentations of invited speakers followed by free presentations. Sixty posters were selected according to their scientific value and five prizes were given with the winners giving a short presentation in the main lecture theatre. The social program consisted of different daily tours, an excursion to the Swiss National Stud with presentations of Swiss horses and dinner in the old riding school. An official congress dinner was given with the generous help of sponsors in a hotel with dancing and a post congress tour to Lucerne with a boat trip on the lake. This Congress was very well attended with 325 congressists from 36 countries who enjoyed not only the scientific meetings but also the nice town of Berne, UNESCO world heritage.

8th World Congress of Veterinary Anaesthesiology

September 16 – 20, 2003
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
Chair: Dr. Tom Doherty

This Congress was held at the Marriott Hotel in Central Knoxville and within walking distance from the University of Tennessee Veterinary School where some of the sessions were also held. It covered 4 days to accommodate the number of invited speakers and abstract presentations. The day before the Congress, a “Workshop on Regional Anaesthesia and Analgesia” was held sponsored, in part, by the newly formed IVAPM. Drs. Lynette Bester and Kenneth Joubert, from the University of Pretoria, presented the workshop. The afternoon of day 2 was spent at the local Museum of Appalachia Theme Park, where attendees were given a traditional-type meal and had the opportunity to visit the exhibits which depicted rural life of the early settlers in East Tennessee.In addition to the program proper, two parallel events took place at this Congress. Dr. Doris Dyson organized an Educational Exhibit with some interactive programs. Dr. Shauna Cantwell organized an interactive session with the Virtual Anesthesia Machine and this was a very popular feature with residents and graduate students. The closing banquet was held on the final evening and was well attended. The Congress attracted 397 attendees from 39 countries, 19 invited speakers presented papers, 165 oral abstracts and posters were presented and 24 sponsors and exhibitors were in attendance. Countries represented were England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Check Republic, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Poland, Hungary, Greece, Turkey, Romania, Russia, Egypt, Republic of South Africa, Japan, India, Unites States of America, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, Chile, Argentina, Columbia, Costa Rica, Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lank.

9th World Congress of Veterinary Anaesthesiology

September 12 – 16, 2006
Santos, Brazil
Chair: Dr. Stelio P.  L. Luna

This Congress was held at the Convention Centre in the coastal city of Santos, 60 km from
São Paulo International Airport and was organized by the Brazilian College of Veterinary Surgeons and Anaesthetists (BCVSA). The program included the IAVPM, the Brazilian Congress of Veterinary Surgery and Anesthesiology and the Brazilian Symposium on Veterinary Physiotherapy. It was run as a joint meeting with this organization during the 7th Brazilian Congress of Veterinary Surgery and Anaesthesiology. Support of the AVA, ACVA, and ECVAA was primordial to achieve objectives for this Congress. A total of 78 oral and 67 poster presentations were offered. There was also a good compliment of vendors which helped support the Congress. On the second afternoon, there were no scientific activities and a tour in the city was provided followed a typical Brazilian barbecue. The Congress banquet was held the last night at the Mont Serrat peak. A 7 day Post Congress Tour was enjoyed by 40 attendees. A total of 585 registrations were recorded: 387 from Brazil, 96 from Europe, 57 from North America (48 from USA and 9 from Canada); 15 from Latin America, 15 from Oceania (13 from Australia and 2 from New Zealand), 12 unidentified, 4 from Japan and 1 from South Africa. Attendees represented 37 countries at this WCVA.

9th International Congress of Veterinary Anaesthesiology. Santos, Brasil. 2006.

10th World Congress of Veterinary Anaesthesiology

August 31 – September 4, 2009
Glasgow Scotland
Chair: Dr Eddie Clutton

The Congress in Glasgow celebrated the 10th anniversary of the WCVA. Whilst the tenth WCVA meeting was held at the veterinary college in Glasgow, the organizing committee consisted of representatives from the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow with an ex-Glaswegian Floridian and so was regarded as a Scottish effort.
Three introductory plenary lectures were presented at the Opening ceremony: Dr Alastair McKenzie presented, “Scottish contributions to veterinary anaesthesia and analgesia and was followed by Dr Lesley Colvin who asked, “Assessment and management of neuropathic pain: science or sorcery”. A third lecture presented by Professor Paul Flecknell was entitled, “Animals and anaesthesia – a short history and a long look forward”. On the meeting’s second day, two further plenary lectures were given: Thereafter, the programme deliberately deviated from the normal pattern in choosing as a single theme “Controversies in Veterinary Anaesthesia”. The format differed accordingly. Parallel sessions for equine, companion, food and laboratory animal studies followed the mornings’ controversies session, except when the social programme intervened. A total of 80 free communications were presented and 75 posters were displayed.
The eve of the opening ceremony saw psychrophilic delegates on an open-top bus tour of Glasgow, which was followed by a meal of traditional Scottish stovies and a mind-bending quiz in which residents embarrassed their supervisors by trouncing them in an anaesthesia quiz. On the following evening, delegates were warmly hosted at the Glasgow City Chambers. The Congress Banquet (and ceilidh) was held in the Kelvingrove Art Gallery. Additional features aimed at placating partners and spouses included a Distillery and Loch Lomond tour, a day of shopping in Edinburgh, and a visit to the Falkirk wheel.
The meeting was attended by 322 delegates from 35 countries. The meeting was generously sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry and manufacturers of anaesthetic equipment. The AVA, ECVAAA and ACVAA were also generous in support, both morally and financially.

10th International Congress of Veterinary Anaesthesiology. Glasgow, Scotland. 2009.

11th World Congress of Veterinary Anaesthesiology

September 24 – 27, 2012
Cape Town, South Africa
Chair, Dr. Kenneth Joubert

The WCVA was held in conjunction with ACVA, ECVAA and the IVAPM. The IVAPM assisted with the organization of a pain management symposium. The setting for the 2012 congress, Cape Town International Convention Centre, was chosen for its central location, easy accessibility, outstanding facilities and convenience. Visiting partners and accompanying people were able to enjoy the sights and sounds of Cape Town, Stellenbosch and surrounding areas on exciting day tours and excursions. The scientific program was organized around themes with the days starting with joint sessions. A total of 164 abstracts were submitted of which 96 were poster presentations. A pre-congress refresher course was organized for local delegates and was attended by 74 delegates. A regional anaesthetic course was organized over two days. All the continents were represented by 33 countries. A total of 388 delegates attended the Congress.

11th International Congress of Veterinary Anaesthesiology. Cape Town, South Africa. 2012.

12th World Congress of Veterinary Anaesthesiology

September 1 – 4, 2015
Kyoto, Japan
Chair, Dr. Kazuto Yamashita

The WCVA2015 was held under the auspice of the Japanese Society of Veterinary Anesthesia and Surgery (JSVAS). The WCVA took place in the Kyoto International Convention Center – made world- famous in 1997 with the signing of the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change. Visiting partners and accompanying people were able to enjoy the sights and sounds of Kyoto where is the most popular must-see tourist destination in Japan. The Scientific program included a series of lectures dedicated to understanding management of pain on the first day “Pain day”, pharmacology of anesthetics and analgesics on the second day “Pharmacological day”, comparative physiology on the third day “Comparative physiology day” and clinical perioperative managements on the final day “Clinical day”. The WCVA2015 attracted 365 attendees from 34 countries. Twenty-four invited speakers presented 25 scientific lectures in the field of anesthesia and analgesia. In addition, the situations of pain management education in Asian countries were presented at the Prof. Takeuchi Memorial Panel Discussion. A total of 114 abstracts were submitted of which 55 were poster presentations. Pre-Congress Refresher Courses were organized for local delegates from Japan, Korea, and China. Pre-Congress Workshop was also organized at the JRA Ritto Racehorse Training Center.

12th International Congress of Veterinary Anaesthesiology. Kyoto, Japan. 2015.