An international organization of farm animal surgeons is using the Web to communicate, disseminate information and solve and answer questions from others via web-based discussion groups, photos and video. The International Academy of Farm Animal Surgery (IAFAS) provides a mechanism for veterinarians providing care for farm animals to communicate as part of a large community dedicated to the advancement of expertise in surgery of these species.

David Anderson, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, Kansas State University, is the founding director of the IAFAS and says it is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge and management of surgical diseases of farm animals, and its goal is to create a central resource of information and exchange of ideas related to veterinary surgery of farm animals.

The objectives of the IAFAS are to stimulate interactive discussions and exchange of knowledge by creation of a website for information access (anticipated for Winter 2012); creation of a listserve for dialogue; and development of continuing education programs for farm animal surgery.

“My vision for the IAFAS is to connect people through technology,” Anderson says. “Globally, there is a tremendous treasure-trove of experience in farm animal surgery – much of which is not available through published literature or textbooks. Only through the generous and open exchange of information can we allow veterinarians involved in surgery of farm animals to benefit from the wisdom of practice.”

Anderson notes that the fact that there is over 400 participants in 22 countries involved in this effort shows that access to this knowledge and expertise is needed, desired, and appreciated.

Anderson adds that Dr. Andre Desrochers, Professor at the University of Montreal, is working on development of the Web site for IAFAS. “This will enable us to be more dynamic with the types of information we share."