Questions and answers

Who can participate?

The competition is open to all professional and amateur photographers worldwide, regardless of their sex, age or nationality. Employees of the European Institutions – including agencies and delegations – and their families, and employees of the OIE, and their families cannot take part.

Who has organised the competition?

The “Vets in your daily life” photo competition is jointly organised by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Health and Consumers (DG SANCO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), to promote the veterinary profession, the role of vets in society, and from “farm to fork”.

What is the purpose of this competition?

The idea of this competition is to promote the veterinary profession, both in terms of vets’ role in society, and from “farm to fork”. Modern veterinarians are not only animal doctors and animal welfare advocates, they are also key to public health, food security, supervision of animal production, taking care of our pets, ensuring food hygiene, controlling zoonoses, monitoring food quality and safety, managing crises, and are involved in biomedical research and protecting the environment and biodiversity. They have a significant, but often silent, influence on everybody’s daily life.

What are the technical requirements of the pictures?

Photos must be submitted digitally, uploaded via the online entry form in the following format:

  • The high resolution master copies (at least 5 mega pixels/2480×3508 pixel or up to 7016×9933 pixel/59.4×84.1cm in 300dpi – please do not extrapolate!) uploaded on the online entry form in all common photo formats
  • Contributions must have a title and can include a short explanation consisting of a maximum of 150 characters.

What are the award criteria?

Members of the jury of the “Vets in your daily life” photo competition are well-known professionals from the fields of photography and the arts.

The criteria are:

  • Interpretation and visualisation of the theme “Vets in your daily life”
  • Creativity, primarily regarding the content and composition of the photographs submitted. Technical aspects including editing will be considered as added value where their use helps to express the photographer’s ideas or to enhance the value of the content of the images
  • Coherence, artistic quality and personal style of the photographer
  • Photo composition and clarity of presentation
  • Appeal of the visual motif
  • Ability to catch the viewer’s interest

One winner for each of the five regions Africa, Europe, Asia & Pacific, Americas and the Middle East will be chosen from all eligible submissions. One overall winner (selected from the five) will be announced at the OIE General Session.

Why seven languages?

The “Vets in your daily life” photo competition is a worldwide competition. In order to reach a large number of people as widely as possible, the website is available in English and has been translated into a further six languages; German, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Arabic. The European Commission and the OIE are aware that not everyone is capable of speaking one of these languages, but that the majority of the people worldwide will be able to participate.

What are the prizes?

The five regional winners will win € 1000* of photographic equipment. The overall winner (selected from the five) to be announced at the OIE General Session will win an additional € 2000* of photographic equipment. The prize will include travel to and from Brussels and Paris, and accommodation. Where the winner cannot attend the prizegiving ceremony, he or she may appoint a representative to attend and collect the prize on their behalf. This representative must travel from the country stated on the competition entry form of the winner at the time of entry.

Who is in the jury?

The jury consists of five members. Three are well-known professionals from the fields of photography and arts, one representative from the OIE and one from the European Commission (DG SANCO).

Despina Spanou

Despina Spanou is since 1 April 2010, Principal Adviser at the Directorate-General for Health and Consumers. She works on policy and communication and also chairs certain stakeholder fora, including the Platform for action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health and the High Level Group on Nutrition and Physical activity as well as the Alcohol and Health Forum. She also represents the Directorate General for Health and Consumers at the High Level Forum on the Competitiveness of the food chain.
Despina Spanou started her career at the European Commission’s Directorate General for Competition after having practised European competition and regulatory law for a number of years with the Brussels branch of a US law firm. She is a qualified lawyer and holds a Ph.D in European law from the University of Cambridge.
She was Deputy Head of Cabinet for Commissioner for Health and Consumers, Mr. Markos Kyprianou and for Commissioner for Health Mrs Androulla Vassiliou (2004-2010). During her time at the Cabinet, she acquired significant experience in the handling of a wide range of DG SANCO policy issues. She coordinated food chain issues, including the avian flu crisis in 2006, EU food trade relations with Russia and China and biotechnology. She also advised on public health policy files, including the first European Partnership on Action against Cancer and relations with third countries on health issues.
She has been closely involved in the development of the Animal Health Strategy as well as the first Action Plan on Animal Welfare in the EU, and has advised on various files linked to the importance of veterinarians ”in our daily lives”.

Bernard Vallat

Bernard Vallat received initial veterinary training with specialisations in feed and in animal productions under tropical climate. 10 years later he completed his education with a Master degree in Economy of Development.
His professional career began with seventeen years spent overseas, working under multilateral or French bilateral overseas cooperation schemes in a number of countries in Central Africa and the Indian Ocean, in both fields and administration levels.
In 1990, Dr Vallat was recalled to France by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Overseas Cooperation to manage international negotiations and the design and follow up of development programs in thirty countries in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. In 1994, he went to the French Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food within the General Directorate for Food, and a year later was appointed Chief Veterinary Officer for France, with the title of Deputy Director General for Food.
Dr Vallat was elected Chairman of the Terrestrial Animal Health Code Commission of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) from 1997 to 2000.
In 2001 he was elected Director General of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
Bernard Vallat was born in 1947; he is married and is the father of three children. He holds several French honorary titles, notably Officier of the Légion d’Honneur, as well as from other countries.

Bikem Ekberzade

Bikem Ekberzade has been working as a freelance photojournalist and documentary photographer for over 15 years. Formerly of Associated Press, for whom she has freelanced in different parts of the United States, she continued her freelance work in conflict zones ranging from the Balkans to Central Asia and Africa. She has worked for several international news organizations such as Newsweek, The New York Times, Businessweek. Her documentary work with refugee families has been widely exhibited and still continues to be published at home and overseas. Ekberzade continues to document the lives of those who try to find a safe heaven for themselves and their families in third countries while running persecution in their homeland. Ekberzade has two photography books published under her name, and she has contributed to several others by different authors. Ekberzade recently joined the United Nations Assistance Mission to Iraq (UNAMI) as the mission’s photographer. Throughout 2011 she will be based in Amman and Baghdad. Please read more about Bikem Ekberzade and her work here: www.thevirtualstory.com and www.therefugeeproject.blogspot.com.

Joe Petersburger

Joe Petersburger is a Ph.D. biologist with a specialty in animal behavior, plant taxonomy, but most importantly: conservation. His artistic side began to spring in drawing, what he turned into photography. By realizing the impact of photography on people, Petersburger took more and more effort on pictorial documentation of nature, especially less known and endangered species, natural habitats in Eastern Europe. Petersburger is a multiple award winner photojournalist at numerous international press and wildlife photography competitions, including 1st prize in ‘Nature’ category at World Press Photo 2010. He started to publish in National Geographic Magazine in 2003, where he has 3 feature stories published so far. His photographic and researcher work has taken him to the rainforests of Taiwan and Panama, the deserts of Egypt, the wetlands of Danube Delta, the mountains of Carpathians, Iceland and Transylvania. Please read more about Joe Petersburger and his work here: www.joepetersburger.com.

Chris Wainwright

Professor Chris Wainwright is an artist, curator and the Head of Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon Colleges, of the University of the Arts London. He is currently a member of The Tate Britain Council and a board member of Cape Farewell, an artist run organisation that promotes a cultural response to climate change. He is currently co-curating a major international exhibition UNFOLD for Cape Farewell by artists who have been involved with expeditions to the High Arctic and South America. Chris Wainwright is represented in many major collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; The Arts Council of England; Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris; the Polaroid Corporation, Boston, USA, and Unilever, London. Please read more about Professor Wainwright and his work here: www.chriswainwright.com.

Where can I get further information on the work of DG Health & Consumers of the European Commission?

Further information is available at www.ec.europa.eu/dgs/health_consumer.

Where can I get further information on the work of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)?

Further information is available at www.oie.int.

How can a photographic competition help people understand the role of veterinarians?

The role of the veterinarian has evolved dramatically over the past 250 years. Vets play a crucial role in society, and by using photos to capture the different aspects of the work of vets, and by placing information and links on the website, people will be better informed and have greater awareness of the role that vets play.

What if I win and cannot travel to Brussels and Paris to collect my prize?

There is nothing to stop you entering the competition. If you are unable to attend the ceremony you may appoint a representative to attend and collect the prize on your behalf. This representative must travel from the country stated on the competition entry form of the winner at the time of entry.

What will the Commission and OIE be using the photos for?

When the competition is finished there are a number of ways in which the two organisations will look to use the photos that have been entered. First, through exhibitions, and second, for use on websites and in publications. There are also other ways of using them. However it is impossible to provide an exhaustive list here.


  • Official launch of the competition: 21 January 2011
  • Closing of the competition: 31 March 2011
  • Selection of the five regional winners: 20 April 2011
  • Selection of the one final winner: 2 May 2011
  • Award ceremony for the winners: 19/20 May 2011 at the EU Veterinary Week conference in Brussels, and 22 May 2011 at the 79th OIE General Session in Paris

Who can I contact when I cannot upload my pictures?

In the contact section of this website you will find all necessary contact details. Your emails should normally be answered within three days.