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The annual Western Veterinary Conference, held in Las Vegas each February, vies with the North American Veterinary Conference in Florida for the title of the ‘biggest veterinary conference in the world’. Pete Wedderburn reports on some hot topics at this year's meeting
THE Western Veterinary Conference (WVC) has a long pedigree, with the first meeting taking place in Utah back in 1928, moving to Las Vegas in 1963. This year, the WVC hosted nearly 15,000 delegates from more than 50 countries, attending over 900 hours of programming, 35 hands-on labs and over 30 workshops. The emphasis of the event has always been on diversity, with high-quality presentations for practising veterinarians in all species areas. The six main strands of this year's meeting were small animal, equine, farm animal, exotic species, veterinary technicians and practice management.
Las Vegas as a destination is a post-modern phenomenon, with spectacular architecture, with its central downtown area, the Strip, lit up by huge flashing neon signs and giant TV screens advertising shows and attractions for visitors. Nineteen of the world's 25 largest hotels are located here, with a total of over 67,000 rooms.
Despite the hustle and bustle of the city, the WVC team manage to give the conference a friendly, relaxed tone. On arrival at the airport, conference delegates are greeted by cheerful yellow-shirted WVC stewards guiding them to shuttle buses that take them straight to their hotel. The shuttle buses are a feature of …