Survey of Veterinary History Teaching in the World

On request of the WAHVM prof.dr. J. Schäffer (Hanover) undertook a worldwide investigation into the actual status of veterinary history teaching. In June 1997 he has sent out a questionnaire to the deans of 231 establishments of veterinary education. The seven questions asked were the same as those used by prof. J.B. Mulder, when he surveyed the U.S. and Canadian schools in 1990 (see: J.B. Mulder. A survey of veterinary medical history instruction in United States and Canada schools. Veterinary heritage, 13(2), 58-62, 1990). The deans of these schools were, therefore, not approached a second time.

The questions were answered by 88 deans; the 11 answers that were negative in case of all 7 questions are left out in the following overview.

1/2. Formal courses are offered in 19 European, 1 Near Eastern and 1 Japanese school. But only in Germany, Poland, Romania and Turkey the course is required. And only 11 schools have a post financed out of the veterinary faculty budget. In six cases this is a full-time position.

3/4. 9 European, 1 African, 6 Asian and 1 South-American school are providing history teaching in the framework of other courses.

5. The question “Does your veterinary school library have a collection of books or a section dedicated to veterinary history?” may have led to some ambiguity. Sometimes it seems to be interpreted as the availability of an old book collection and sometimes as a collection of historiographical materials. But in most cases where the answer is negative, fruitful history teaching can hardly be expected.

Counting all answers received, plus two answered by Schäffer from own knowledge (n=90), 39 European schools stated that they possess a library that can support a history teaching programme and nine had to report negatively. The reverse is found in the rest of the world (without the U.S. and Canada); here only 14 positive answers are given against 28 negative.

6/7. Worldwide 39 veterinary schools have interest in adding a history course, but only 8 deans are of the opinion that it has to be a required course. As many of them complain of a lack of funds or find great difficulty to make room for such a course in the overfilled curriculum, much external support and persuasion power will be needed to carry the good intentions into effect.

Working Groups

 a. Veterinary Museums:

The Guide to Veterinary Museums has been published. A working group, consisting of curators of the veterinary museums, is invited to start an exchange programme of materials of veterinary significance. During each International Congress a special session will be dedicated to veterinary museum activities.

b. Veterinary Education and Curriculum Development:

The results of the Survey of Veterinary History Teaching in the World (1997) have been published by Prof. Dr J. Schäffer (Hanover, Germany) in the Report of the 30th WAHVM international congres, published by DVG (Domestication of Animals, Giessen 1999, pp. 217-238, ISBN 3-930511-64-9).

c. International Dictionary of Veterinary Biography:

A working group (intermediary Dr I. Katic) will prepare an international dictionary of people who significantly contributed to the development of veterinary medicine.

d. Retrospective Bibliography:

The Bibliography of the History of Veterinary Medicine was compiled by Drs. A. Mathijsen (Utrecht, The Netherlands) and will be published on CD-ROM. To find out how to order this CD-ROM, click here

e. Stamps, Covers and Cancellations:

A relatively small group of veterinarians is engaged in this topic (intermediaries R.D. Locke and N.-O. Hellgren). Our congresses provide the opportunity to exchange private materials; our Newsletter is open to communications from the group. An inventory of existing collections is in preparation and will, in its own specific way, contribute to our studies on veterinary history.

f. Electronic Communication:

An Utrecht-based team will maintain a WAHVM-homepage on the Internet. Our main goal is to serve the members and also libraries and veterinary schools in the exchange of information and teaching materials.

Veterinary History Societies

Argentina: Asociación Argentina de Historia de la Veterinaria
Attn.: Prof.Dr. O.A. Pérez (presidente)
San Nicolás 1436, (1407) Buenos Aires. República Argentina
Tel./Fax: +54-11-4567-6362
Australia: Australian Veterinary History Society
Secretary: Dr. P. J. Mylrea
13 Sunset Avenue
Camden NSW 2570. Australia
Austria: Österreichische Gesellschaft der Tierärzte-Sektion für Geschichte der Veterinärmedizin
President: G. Forstenpointner
Institute of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology
Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
Veterinärplatz 1
1210 Wien. Austria
Phone: +43 1 25077 2503
Brasil: Sociedade Brasileira de Medicine Veterinaria
Attn.: Prof. Eugenio Goncalves de Araujo
SRTV South, Qd. 701, Ed Palace Radio II s
333 Brasília – DF Brazil
Bulgaria: Section for the History of Veterinary Medicine
Attn.: Prof. Dr. Vasil Ivanov DrSc.
15A ‘P.Slaveikov’ Avenue
1606 Sofia. Bulgaria

Cuba: Sociedad de Historia de la Medicina Veterinaria de Cuba
Att.: Dra. Yoland Pérez Diaz
Paseo #604 e/ 25 y 27. Apdo 10400
Vedado. La Habana. Cuba
Czech Republic: Section for the History of Veterinary Medicine of the Czech Society of Veterinary Surgeons
Attn.: Prof. Jiri Sindlar
c/o University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences Brno
Palackého 1-3
CZ-612 42 Brno. Czech Republic
Denmark: Dansk Veterinærhistorisk Samfund
Dr. Anton Rosenbaum

Egypt: Egyptian Association for the History of Veterinary Medicine
General Secretary: Prof. Dr. A. S. Saber
Dept of Anatomy and Embryology
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Minoufiya University
Sadat City
Tel.:048 260 32 15
Prof. Dr. Ilkka Alitalo
Gunillankuja 5 D
FIN-00870 Helsinki, Finland

France: Société française d’histoire de la médecine et des sciences vétérinaires
Attn.: Dr. Christophe Degueurce
Ecole Nationale Veterinaire
7, avenue du General de Gaulle, 94 704 MAISONS-ALFORT Cedex
+33-1 4396 7052

Germany: Fachgruppe Geschichte der Veterinärmedizin der DVG
Att.: Prof. Dr. J. Schäffer
Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover
Bischofsholer Damm 15 (Haus 120)
30173 Hannover. Germany
Tel.: +49-511-856-7503
Fax: +49-511-856-7676

Hungary: Section for the History of Veterinary Medicine
Att.: Prof. Dr. J.Kovats
u. Grof P. Strasse 8
H-7100 Szekszard. Hungary


Italy: Section for the History of Veterinary Medicine, CISO
Attn.: Prof. Dr. Marco Galloni
Dip. di Morfofisiologia. Università di Torino
Via Nizza 52
10126 Torino. Italy
Japan: Japanese Society of Veterinary History
Dr. Junya Yasuda

Mexico: Sociedad Mexicana de Historia de la Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia
Attn.: Dra. Teresa Quintero, presidente
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, UNAM
Dr. M.A. Márquez
Azahares No. 242
Club de Golf Rancho Contento
45010 Zapopan Jalisco. Mexico
Tel./Fax: +52-3-682-1483 (home);
+52-3-668-8084/+52-3-668-8020 (office).

Netherlands: Veterinair Historisch Genootschap
Secr.: Dr. E.J. Tjalsma
Tel: +31 527 241852
Kerkstraat 12
8325 Bk
Vollenhove. The Netherlands


Norway: Norsk Veterinærhistorisk Selskap / Norwegian Society for the History Of Veterinary Medicine
Secretary: Roar Gudding, DVM, PhD
Norwegian Veterinary Institute
PO Box 750 Sentrum
0160 Oslo, Norway
Phone (47)23216340


Poland: Section for the History of Veterinary Medicine of the Polish Veterinary Medical Association
Att.: Prof.Dr. P. Wyrost
Plac Grunwaldski 17 m. 41
50-378 Wroclaw. Poland


Portugal: Center de Historia da Medicina Veterinaria
Attn.: Prof. Tito Fernandez
Faculdade da Medicina Veterinaria
Rua Gomez Freire
1199 Lisboa Cedex. Portugal


South-Africa: SAVA Veterinary History Committee
Attn.: Dr. R.D. Bigalke
c/o Onderstepoort Veterinary Museum
Private Bag X5
Onderstepoort 0110. South Africa


Spain: Asociación Española de Historia de la Veterinaria
Attn.: Jose Manuel Etxaniz Makazaga, secr./treasurer
Madrid. España

Spain: Asociación Madrid de Història de la Veterinària (AMHV)
Attn.: Dr Joaquin Sanchez de Lollano Prieto (Museo Veterinario Complutense, Madrid)


Sweden: Council of Veterinary History and Biography
Att.: Prof.Dr. H.-J. Hansen
Ymervagen 6
18263 Djursholm. Sweden


Switzerland: Schweizerische Vereinigung für Geschichte der Veterinärmedizin (SVGVM)
Att.:Stephan Hasler, Dr. med. vet., Prasident SVGVM
Mengestorfstrasse 50, CH-3144 Gasel
+41 31 849 11 95 or +41 79 794 58 76


Att.: Dr. Ferruh Dincer


United Kingdom: Veterinary History Society
Att.: Mr. R.D. Bone, BVMS MRSVS
608 Warwick Road, Solihull, West Midlands B91 1AA
United Kingdom

U.S.A.: American Veterinary History Society
Att.: Secretary Susanne Whitaker
23 Wedgwood Drive, Ithaca, NY 14850 USA


Att.: Prof Naudy Trujillo Mascia