Dear Ladies & Gentlemen, colleagues and friends

 

On behalf of the 12th European Symposium of Porcine Health Management (ESPHM) Organizing Committee, it is my great pleasure to welcome you to Bern, Switzerland. The ESPHM is jointly organized by the European College of Porcine Health Management (ECPHM), further engaged and outstanding European pig practitioners and, for the ESPHM 2020+1, the Vetsuisse Faculty from the University of Bern, in collaboration with representatives from the Vetsuisse Faculty in Zurich, the Swiss Association of Swine Veterinarians and the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO), all together representing the Local Organizing Committee (LOC).

 

With respect to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic starting early 2020, we had to postpone the 12th ESPHM by one year assuring that we protect the vulnerable part of our society and reduce any risk of infection that might be caused by travel and attendance to such an international meeting. Notwithstanding that this decision was the best option at the time, now we intend to synthesize our new knowledge about the infection, to apply the best prevention measures, which allow reducing the risk of transmission, and, finally, to host the symposium in line with nationally and internationally developed biosecurity concepts approved by the corresponding authorities in Switzerland.

 

The ESPHM in Bern will be the 12th edition of the symposium, representing the complete consolidation of a meeting that started in Copenhagen (Denmark) in 2009 with 220 delegates. Since then, the congress has evolved at all levels, with more than 1,900 delegates in the most recent edition in Barcelona, Spain, in 2018. This is an evident proof of the increasing interest that the scientific contents of the ESPHM offers, not only for European veterinarians but also to the international community. Although settled in Europe, the ESPHM aspires to be a source of updated knowledge and knowhow in its field for the whole world.

 

None of the above has been and will be feasible without the contribution of speakers, delegates and chairpersons as well as the funding of partners, sponsors and supporters. Our deep thanks to all of them; they will be the core of the ESPHM 2020+1! Moreover, our deep appreciation to the board members of the ECPHM and the Veterinary Practitioners Council, since they represent the soul and the spirit of the ESPHM.

 

Switzerland is in the heart of Europe and Bern is in the middle of Switzerland. No other city is closer to the language border between French and German-speaking Switzerland. Bern is easy to reach through train, plane and car; it is connected to international rail lines and European motorway networks. Bern is relaxed, a place where people have time. And the short distances in the city are partly the reason. Many sites and facilities are within walking distance. And even if you have to take the bus or a tram, you can usually reach your destination in ten minutes. Thanks to Bern’s central location, most of Switzerland’s attractions are reachable as day or half-day excursions, such as the Bernese Oberland, Emmental or Wallis. You will certainly enjoy!

 

Hope to see you in Bern in April 2021!

 

Heiko Nathues
Chair of the 12th European Symposium of Porcine
Health Management Organizing Committee