The APVS 2013 (Asian Pig Veterinary Society) Congress was held from Monday 23 till Wednesday 25 September 2013 in the vibrant Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. In total 1265 delegates and 24 graduate students participated in this congress and they originated from 31 countries.
The total number of sponsors was 30, divided in eight diamond, eight gold, seven silver and seven other sponsors. These numbers show that 10 years after the first APVS congress that was organised in Korea, the meeting is very well established in Asia and is recognised as the place to be and to meet Asian colleagues. The congress addressed the main regional issues and is also a platform to expose the delegates to eminent researchers from other parts of the world that are invited as keynote lectures. Next to that many abstracts were selected as oral or poster presentation and is therefore an excellent opportunity for young Asian researchers to act on international platforms. All presentations were in English with simultaneous translation into Chinese and Vietnamese. Also all the keynote lecturer could show their slides in English, Chinese and Vietnamese.
The congress was again well organised with first country reports from the six countries that together form the APVS. These countries are China, Korea, Japan, Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam. More Asian countries like Taiwan and Cambodia are applying for membership and this will lead to an even better insight in pork production in Asia. These country reports were followed by oral sessions in five different selected topics. Posters could be visited and at lunch time and after the sessions, diamond sponsors were given satellite symposia that were also very well attended. On the second day the morning started with keynote lectures on issues like FMD in South East Asia, PRRS and PCV2. The first two speakers originated from Asia and more specific from Vietnam (Dr Thanh) and Thailand (Prof Roongroje) while the PCV2 speaker was Prof. Segales from Spain.
Real progress is made in the field of FMD control in Asia with much more exchange of information and much more attention for the role of the small farmer and the importance for the small holder to control FMD. The goal for FMD control/eradication is 2020. With Korea and Japan just recovering from two very costly outbreaks, there is pressure. Professor Segales gave a very complete overview on PCV2 control.
In the second keynote session on the Tuesday morning Prof Martelli lectured on PRRS infection, immunity and control; with a key message – the immunogenicity of a vaccine strain is more important than the level of homology between vaccine strain and field isolate. The difference of importance is between genotype of a PRRS viral strain and its phenotype. Prof Pettigrew lectured on yeast derived mannans, a clear sign of the interest of Asian producers for feed ingredients that are not of antibiotic origin and Prof Murtaugh closed the session on PRRS and PCV2.
The afternoon was again reserved for poster viewing, attending oral sessions and satellite symposia by the remaining diamond sponsors. During the whole day the rooms were full of delegates.
Tuesday evening was also the evening of the Gala Dinner. This was again a clear sign of the rapid developments that are taking place in Vietnam.
The last day was devoted to three keynote speakers only, presenting the venue of the next APVS, which will be in Manila the Philippines in (most probably) April 2015, and for the closing session. Of course also the best poster prepared by a graduate student was awarded.