Veterinarians for Climate Action is committed to a sustainable future for all

Climate voice: Veterinarians for Climate Action members Michael Ferguson and Angela Frimberger are among those in the profession championing climate action. Photo: Supplied

Climate voice: Veterinarians for Climate Action members Michael Ferguson and Angela Frimberger are among those in the profession championing climate action. Photo: Supplied

Dr Angela Frimberger sees advocating for climate action as a straightforward duty based on her veterinary oath.

Dr Frimberger's involvement with Veterinarians for Climate Action is one way of doing her bit to address climate change.

Veterinarians for Climate Action, established by Dr Jeannet Kessels, has about 60 members including founding board member Dr Frimberger and Wauchope Veterinary Clinic's Michael Ferguson.

Dr Frimberger said climate change impacted ecosystems worldwide and all animals were touched by climate change in some way.

She said wild animals had very limited ability to adapt to the impact of climate change and it was important not to forget domestic animals.

Veterinarians for Climate Action is working to inspire the veterinary profession to advocate for and achieve climate action within the industry and beyond.

Professional approach: Veterinarians for Climate Action members Elizabeth Evans, Cassandra Ng, Mila Kasby, Michael Ferguson and Angela Frimberger take part in a climate action strategy camp in Port Macquarie. Photo: Supplied

Professional approach: Veterinarians for Climate Action members Elizabeth Evans, Cassandra Ng, Mila Kasby, Michael Ferguson and Angela Frimberger take part in a climate action strategy camp in Port Macquarie. Photo: Supplied

"Veterinarians have a duty to use our scientific knowledge for the protection of animal health and welfare, as well as public health, and for the prevention of animal suffering - and climate change is a direct threat to all of those things," Dr Frimberger said.

She said last summer's bushfires were the most dramatic expression of the impact of climate change on animal suffering and death.

A report, commissioned by World Wide Fund for Nature, concluded nearly three billion animals - mammals, reptiles, birds and frogs - were killed or displaced by Australia's 2019-20 bushfires.

Dr Frimberger said the only way to prevent animal death and suffering on that scale was by taking action on the root cause.

"It is quite clear based on a lot of science that has been done in the last eight months that the primary driver of the severity of last summer's bushfires indeed was climate change," she said.

Port Macquarie hosted the first in-person meeting of Veterinarians for Climate Action on August 15 and 16.

A handful of participants travelled from Sydney but the COVID-19 restrictions meant most members participated via Zoom.

Mr Ferguson attended the meeting.

He said veterinarians worked at the coalface with all the animals and farmers impacted by climate change.

Mr Ferguson said veterinarians, with their scientific knowledge, could be a voice of reason on climate change.

"I think if we don't take steps to protect it [the environment], we will be leaving a very sad legacy and heritage for our kids."

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