The history of Veterinary Medicine

Not the same as human medicine

For a long time, animals were marginalised in medical science. Usually, it was human disease and inflictions that were studied.

But crucial to mankind

In the 18th century, Europe was struck by multiple outbreaks of cattle plague. As this was a huge problem for the farmers, people became more interested in animal disease. Another important reason for founding the veterinary school was the military. Horses played a crucial role in the army. Therefore, the development of horse care and horse medicine was essential. During the first half of the 19th century, students would live on campus in the Poortgebouw near the  Biltstraat and they wore military uniforms. In 1988, the dormitories with their numbered wardrobes were still recognisable.

France was the forerunner

In 1762, the école vétérinaire (veterinary school) was founded in Lyon: the first place In Europe to teach veterinary medicine.

The Utrechtse Veemarkten (Utrecht Cattle Markets)

Utrecht was well-known for its cattle markets. Over the centuries, these were held in different locations. First on the Vredenburg and later, after the war, in what is nowadays known as the 'Veemarkt'  neighbourhood, referring to the old cattle markets.

Veterinary Medicine is essential

As a lot of cattle were kept Utrecht, veterinary medicine was important to Utrecht. Therefore, in 1821, the Rijks Veeartsenijschool (State Veterinary School) was founded, the first place to train veterinarians in the Netherlands.

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