SYMCO holds a biannual International Symposium on Wildlife Utilisation (ISWU) which was first staged in South Africa in 1986 and has become an institution in international veterinary circles ever since. Symco is a non-profit student orientated organisation, affiliated to the Faculty of Veterinary Science of the University of Pretoria.
The Symposium consists of a fourteen day conference workshop and caters for an estimated 80 local and international veterinary students and maintains a balance between lectures on pertinent wildlife issues and excursions, enabling the delegates to witness practical aspects of the topics discussed. It gives students the chance to get up close and personal with the beautiful wildlife SA has to offer and to experience what being a wildlife vet really means, while at the same time making friends with fellow vet students from around the world. Examples of practical interaction include game capture, game relocation, disease control and economic implications.
The aims of ISWU are broadly defined as:
- To highlight the necessity and importance of veterinary involvement in the conservation of wildlife.
- To position South Africa as a leading country with regards to veterinary science and wildlife conservation.
- To promote active debate and the exchange of ideas regarding veterinary involvement in topical wildlife issues.
- To establish an international communication network between veterinary students.