The world’s veterinarians and affiliates celebrate veterinary medicine’s 250th birthday throughout 2011. With international festivities going on from January through October, plenty of opportunities exist for pet owners, farmers, ranchers, wildlife rescuers, and all caring for the earth’s natural order to say “Happy Birthday” and “Thanks” to veterinarians.
1761 Veterinary Beginnings
The mother of all veterinary schools is Lyon, France, authorized by King Louis XV on August 4th, 1761. The King’s worry over cattle disease, grazing lands, and proper farmer training gave birth to the school. Within six months of Louis XV’s decree, the first students were admitted. The school’s curriculum formally prepared future veterinarians for protecting animal and human health, while also watching over the use of farm lands.
The school evolved through three different names. The first name was the Lyon Veterinary Institution to about 1764. The second was the Royal Veterinary School, and finally settled with the title of the National Veterinary School. The school moved twice in its Lyon history.
Also by Louis XV’s decree, the School of Alfort veterinary school opened in Paris about four years after the school in Lyon. Alfort remains the oldest veterinary school on an original site. The curriculum there offers the same future veterinarian program as Lyon, plus two more veterinary careers: stud farm inspectors and military veterinarians.
World Veterinary Year Vet2011
Vet2011 is the catch-word created by the Vet2011 Animation and Coordination Committee. Several official events are set to take place at St. Louis, Missouri, in January and April, culminating with the Veterinary Symposium in July 2011. The AVMA also plans to create and distribute a traveling exhibit with brochures, as well as publish material in the Journal of the American Veterinarian Association (JAVMA) about historic figures in veterinary medicine and more.
The world celebrates the 250th birthday, promoting veterinarians’ ongoing work in “protecting and preserving animal health, human health, and ecosystem health,” says the announcement from the American Veterinarian Medical Association (AVMA). In the United States, the AVMA is working to officially designate 2011 as the Year of the Veterinarian by Presidential Proclamation and Congressional Resolution. Senate Bill 583 passed on Thursday, September 23, 2010 and the house is expected to soon follow, with the resolution passing on to President Obama before the New Year.
Nevada Senator John Ensign introduced Senate Bill 583. In his September 24, 2010 press release, Ensign said, “Veterinarians play an important role in food safety.” He also stressed that Americans consider their pets to be family and veterinarians play a huge role in their pet’s healthy, long life. House Bill 1531, introduced by Oregon Representative Kurt Schrader has high expectations for support too. Both Ensign and Schrader are veterinarians.
World Veterinary Year Events Vet2011
More than 75 countries have committed to be actively involved in 250th birthday events for Vet2011 so far, and that number is expected to grow. International opening ceremonies in January will be at Versailles, France. In May, the veterinarian education conference occurs at VetAgro Sup – Campus Vétérinaire de Lyon, France, where veterinary medicine began. International closing ceremonies will be at the 30th World Veterinary Congress, Cape Town, South Africa, in October 2011.
Best Gifts for the 250th Birthday
What could be the best gift of all on this milestone birthday for Veterinary Medicine? Easily it is donating time or money to non-profit organizations like the Humane Society, equine rescue and rehabilitation organizations, county animal control departments, and wildlife rescue organizations.
Ensign, Schrader Celebrate 250 Years of Veterinary Profession, news release by Senator Ensign at: ensign.senate.gov/public/index.cfm
American Veterinary Medical Association, Vet2011 at: avma.org/Vet2011
Vet2011, International Members at: vet2011.org/membres_international.php#mf_ancre
Senate Bill Lauds 250th Anniversary of Veterinary Medicine at: PRN United Business Media Newswire prnewswire.com/news-releases/senate-bill-lauds-250-anniversary-of-veterinary-medicine-designates-2011-as-world-veterinary-year-103739059
This article is for informational purposes only. If you have specific concerns or advice needs, please consult with a representative of the American Veterinarian Medical Association.