In the waning days of the 111th Congress, the House of Representatives followed in the Senate’s footsteps by passing a resolution in early December marking the 250th anniversary of veterinary medicine and proclaiming 2011 as World Veterinary Year (see JAVMA, Aug. 15, 2010, page 346).
Introduced by the two veterinarians elected to Congress—Sen. John Ensign of Nevada and Rep. Kurt Schrader of Oregon—the congressional proclamation acknowledges the valuable role veterinarians have played in society since the world’s first veterinary school was established in Lyon, France, in 1761.
– JAVMA News
The entire world joins in celebrating the veterinary profession, which has been working to improve both animal and human health for the past 250 years. Veterinary organizations within 78 countries are expected to observe the 2011 milestone with special events throughout the year. A brief history of the beginning makes for an interesting and fascinating read.
The world’s first veterinary school was founded in Lyon, France, in 1761, shortly followed by the Alfort veterinary school, near Paris, in 1764, both of them at the initiative of French veterinarian Claude Bourgelat. This means that 2011 will mark the 250th world anniversary of veterinary education.
By setting up the world’s first veterinary training institutions, Bourgelat created the veterinary profession itself. Thus, 2011 will also mark the 250th world anniversary of the veterinary profession.
Bourgelat’s genius did not stop there. As a result of his fruitful collaboration with surgeons in Lyon, he was also the first scientist who dared to that studying animal biology and pathology would help to improve our understanding of human biology and pathology. And as such, 2011 also marks the 250th anniversary of the concept of comparative pathobiology, without which modern medicine would never have emerged.
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When you visit your vet this year, give them a hug and let them know you’re happy they do what they do!