FAO will commemorate the World Veterinary Year in 2011
In 1761, the world’s first veterinary school was founded in Lyon, France. Shortly after, in 1764, the Alfort veterinary school was established near Paris. The successful initiation of the first veterinary training institutions in France created the veterinary profession itself. Next year, 2011, will mark the 250th anniversary of veterinary education and profession.
National and international veterinary institutions will be promoting the birth of the veterinary profession. In actively doing so, they will raise public awareness about the importance of their profession, while at the same reminding opinion leaders and policymakers everywhere in the world that veterinarians have been serving humankind for 250 years. It is worth highlighting that veterinary professionals play contributory roles in animal and human health, food quality and safety, food security, ethology and psychology, biomedical research, wildlife conservation, ecology, and the protection of the environment and biodiversity. By preventing, detecting and controlling the (transboundary) animal diseases at source – which is a Global Public Good -, veterinarians contribute to the achievement of the Millennium development Goals.
For its part, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) will not only commemorate the World Veterinary Year in 2011, but also jointly make with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) the official declaration of rinderpest freedom: the first animal disease ever eradicated in the world.
We, the veterinarians working at the Animal Production and Health Division of FAO and those involved in other Departments and Regional Offices, invite the entire world to join in celebrating the veterinary profession, which has been working to improve both animal and human health for a quarter of a millennium.