The profession of veterinarian turns 250

The veterinary profession celebrates 250 years in 2011. She was born in 1761 under the reign of Louis XV, in Versailles. The first veterinary school was created in the suburbs of Lyon; it taught how to "cure the diseases of cattle."

On the occasion of this anniversary, the Palace of Versailles welcomes today Vet2011 , a series of events around the Year World Veterinary.

According to the doctor Degueurce, professor at the veterinary school of Maison-Alfort, the discipline was born after the eradication of 90% of the bovine in the course of an epidemic of plague. Specialized doctors were needed to care for the animals, just as there was to treat the men. After 4 years of study, the veterinarian could treat livestock, labor, or what became pets.

Under the reign of Louis XV, the relationship with the animal changed: it was not considered not only the animal for its usefulness or for its meat, and was surrounded by pets, like the dog or the cat.

Understanding the animal, understanding the man

A man, Claude Bourgelat, a rider of the king turned scientist, will be the one who will democratize the profession. In his veterinary schools, one learns to take care of all the cattle, not only horses.

He is also at the origin of the concept of comparative biopathology , which is based on the principle that the medicine of the man is useful to that of the animal, and reciprocally.

Small anecdote: The vets, once out of the school, did not have the rating in the countryside and were rejected by the peasants. They had to learn to give birth to women (and make up for the lack of doctors) to integrate into the peasant life.

And for those who want to know more about the profession of veterinarian, or in connection with the world of the animal, check out our animal index cards .