Dear 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. Once again, the ESPHM is a joint collaboration among three parties including the European College of Porcine Health Management (ECPHM), the European Association of Porcine Health Management (EAPHM) and, for the ESPHM 2020+1, the Vetsuisse Faculty from the University of Bern. The Local Organizing Committee (LOC) includes also representatives from the Vetsuisse Faculty in Zurich, the Swiss Association of Swine Veterinarians and the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO).

 

During the first months of 2020, the organizers of the 12th ESPHM carefully observed the situation regarding SARS-CoV-2 in Switzerland and in Europe. In the light of the crisis due to COVID 19 at that time, the Organizers of the 12th ESPHM wish you and your family strength and health in these difficult days! We all were overtaken by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and had to change so many things in our professional and personal life.

One very important issue that we would like to promote in this challenging period is to ‘stay together, but remain apart’ – this also applies to the whole PHM family – we stay together and support each other!

Unfortunately, we had to modify some items on the annual agenda of the PHM business that included the prioritization of protecting ESPHM delegates & speakers from becoming infected by SARS-CoV-2 during traveling for or meeting at the symposium initially scheduled in 2020. Therefore, we were forced to postpone the symposium to the 14th to 16th April 2021. Please be assured that we are already busy and will work hard until that date in order to deliver an outstanding scientific meeting in the heart of Switzerland and the center of Europe that outweighs the fact that no meeting was possible in 2020!

 

The ESPHM in Bern will be the 12th edition of our annual meeting, representing the complete consolidation of a scientific congress that started in Copenhagen (Denmark) in 2009 with 220 delegates. Since then, the congress has evolved at all levels, with more than 1,500 delegates in the most recent edition in Utrecht, The Netherlands, in 2019. This is an evident proof of the increasing interest that the scientific contents of the ESPHM serves, not only for European veterinarians but also to the international swine community. Although based in Europe, the ESPHM aspires to be a source of the latest/up-to-date knowledge and state of the art know-how in its field for the whole world.

None of the above has been and will be feasible without the valuable contribution of speakers, delegates and chairpersons as well as the generous funding of partners, sponsors and supporters. Our deep thanks are directed to all of them; they will be the core of the ESPHM 2020+1! Moreover, we want to express our deep appreciation to the board members of the ECPHM and EAPHM, 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 within ten minutes. Thanks to Bern’s central location, most of Switzerland’s attractions are reachable as one-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