Skip links

Veterinarians are essential for One Health.

Veterinarians are essential for One Health.

Happy World Veterinary Day!

In 2000, the World Veterinary Association (WVA), the umbrella organization for national veterinary associations, decided to celebrate the last Saturday of every April as the “World Veterinary Day”.

The objective of the “World Veterinary Day” is to reinforce the importance of veterinary medicine around the world and to highlight the veterinarians’ crucial work to protect not only animal, but also human and environmental health, and food safety.

It was first celebrated in our country on April 28, 2001 with a special event organized by the Turkish Veterinary Medical Association.

History of Veterinary Medicine

Although the history of veterinary medicine dates back to a veterinary surgeon called Agathotychus in the 4th or 5th century, the first veterinary school was founded in France in 1792 by Claude Bourgelat.

Upon the damage caused by the cattle plague in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries, some scientists started to study animal health and diseases. These studies led to the establishment of the first veterinary school. With the veterinary studies carried out then and the support they received, the plague cases came to an end.

And in Turkey, while veterinary medicine was learned through master-apprentice relationship in the Ottoman period, veterinary medicine courses began to be taught in cavalry schools in 1842, upon the request of the Prussian military veterinarian, Godlewsky.

Essential Component of “One Health” Principle: Veterinary Medicine

Although veterinarians are often thought to work only for animal health, they actually work in a wide variety of fields such as preventive medicine, herd medicine, public health and food safety.

The subject of veterinarians is not just animals, but also humans, the environment and food. For example, a veterinarian, besides protecting the health of cows and cattle on a farm, plays a vital role in the health and safety of animal origin foods such as meat, milk, cheese and processed food products, and thus, his function becomes vital for human health, too.

We should not restrict foods of animal origin to only meat and dairy products. Veterinarians are also responsible for the health and safety of all products of animal origin, such as eggs and meat from poultry, honey and aquaculture.

The collaboration of veterinarians and other medical specialists in the studies for “One Health” is of crucial importance for the identification, control and prevention of zoonotic diseases and epidemics.

A large part of infectious diseases that are critical for public health today are zoonotic, that is, of animal origin. Considering the zoonotic origin and the world-wide impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in the last two years, the vital role of veterinary medicine studies will be better understood.

Happy World Veterinary Day!

We would like to thank tens of thousands of veterinarians in our country, who work devotedly for a healthier and more vigorous society.

Happy World Veterinary Day!