It’s been an amazing ride; however, even the happiest of events have to end. So it is with the world celebration of the Year of the Veterinarian, or Vet2011. Vet2011 celebrated
- 250 years of formal veterinary education,
- the 250th anniversary of the veterinary profession, and
- 250 years of using animal biology and pathology to improve human medicine.
Official world Vet2011 events and activities ended on October 14, 2011, at the closing ceremonies of the World Veterinary Congress in Cape Town, South Africa. Because Congress has deemed 2011, the Year of the Veterinarian, we are continuing our FDA celebration of Vet2011 through December.
Vet2011 recognized the invaluable work all veterinarians do to help better the lives of people and animals. Our FDA veterinarians are no exception. Although their work is basically done “behind the scenes,” their work touches the lives of people and animals every day. FDA veterinarians are on the front lines every day, ensuring that:
- the drugs we give our animals are safe and effective,
- the additives that go into animal foods (like vitamins and minerals) are safe for our animals and the people who eat products from food-producing animals, and
- the devices used to treat our animals (like thermometers and catheters) are safe and work appropriately.
Veterinary medicine has been around in some form for hundreds, or perhaps thousands of years. It wasn’t until France established the world’s first veterinary school 250 years ago, however, that the importance of veterinarians in protecting human and animal health was truly recognized.
FDA also realized over time the important role veterinarians could play in fulfilling its mission. FDA hired its first veterinarian, Dr. Henry Moskey, in 1927, to evaluate vitamin and mineral claims. Today, FDA employs more than 120 veterinarians in a variety of different jobs ranging from Staff Fellow to Center Director. Veterinarians have certainly come a very long way in FDA since 1927.
In closing our celebration of the Year of the Veterinarian, we wish to thank our FDA veterinarians for all they do to protect human and animal health in the U.S. They truly help make our world a better, safer place.