World Veterinary Day is marked on the last Saturday of April, which is April 27 this year. It is a day to celebrate the noble profession of veterinarians. The day provides recognition for those who have dedicated their lives to helping animals, and it honors the profession’s role in the health and well-being of animals, people, and communities around the globe. Veterinarians are some of the most caring and selfless people in the world. They have the difficult task of taking care of and helping animals recover from injury and illness. Today we also remember all animals — whether pets and food sources, wild and domestic — as companion animals or livestock.
History of World Veterinary Day
When King Louis XV’s Royal Council of State established the Royal Veterinary School in Lyon, France, in 1761, students were taught how to treat livestock diseases. In 1863, the first International Veterinary Congress was held in Edinburgh. This meeting was initiated by Professor John Gamgee of the Veterinary College of Edinburgh, who invited veterinarians from Europe to attend a conference that later became known as the World Veterinary Congress.
This congress aimed to establish a system for exchanging knowledge and experience between European countries through veterinary associations. Congress also sought to improve animal health and welfare for food production and establish international veterinary standards.
In congress, in 1959, held in Madrid, the World Veterinary Association was established, created out of the need for a global organization and a constitution. The World Veterinary Association’s mission is to focus on animal health and welfare, the environment, and public health, and, in pursuing its goal, the association has collaborated with other organizations, such as WHO, O.I.E., and F.A.O. The World Veterinary Association created World Veterinary Day in 2000.
World Veterinary Day timeline
The world's first veterinary school, founded in Lyon, France, begins training veterinarians.
Professor John Gamgee of the Veterinary College of Edinburgh brings together a group of veterinarians from Europe.
The association is founded to focus on animal health and welfare.
This holiday is created by the World Veterinary Association and is meant to celebrate those in the veterinary profession.
World Veterinary Day FAQs
Why is it called the ‘vet?’
The word ‘veterinary’ comes from the Latin ‘veterinae,’ which means ‘working animals.’
What is the veterinary symbol?
The caduceus symbol is used as a logo by veterinarians and vet technicians, representing their work with animals. The image typically shows a staff with two snakes coiled around the top.
Are vets called doctors?
The title ‘doctor’ is used for veterinarians in many countries, even though it is not an academic title in most cases.
How to Observe World Veterinary Day
By donating, you can help support efforts to save the lives of animals in need. Your gift helps provide food and medical care for stray dogs, cats, horses, and other needs animals. Donate today!
Get involved in your community
Volunteering is a great way to help animals, but it's not always easy to find an opportunity that fits into your busy schedule. You don't have to make time — get out there and start asking around! Local shelters and rescue groups always look for volunteers willing to help with events, adoption weekends, and other activities.
Host a community event
Make it fun and informative so that people will enjoy learning about animals and their role in society. Consider including a petting zoo or other hands-on activities to make this event more interactive for children and families. You could also offer food samples from local restaurants so people can try exotic dishes like catfish fingers or turkey tails — just don't forget to provide vegetarian options too!
5 Important Facts About Vets
Vets must attend veterinary college
Veterinarians must have a four-year bachelor's degree to apply to veterinary school.
Tough work environments
As a vet, you must work long hours in a noisy environment: group practice vets often take turns being "on-call" at night or on the weekends and solo-practice vets usually work long hours, including at night and on the weekends.
Its not just about cats and dogs
Most veterinarians work in private practice, caring for dogs, cats, and other animals commonly kept as pets, such as rabbits, ferrets, and birds; but some veterinarians work in food animals or private mixed practices, caring for wild animals and farm animals, such as pigs, cattle, sheep, and goats.
Ample job opportunities
Veterinarians held about 86,800 jobs in the United States in 2021: about 80% worked in a group or solo practice; the other 20% worked in research labs, for the government, in private industry, or at a college or university — and by 2030, the number of jobs for veterinarians is expected to increase by 17%.
More than $90,000 a year
Instead of stating that the average veterinarian earns less than a medical doctor, we introduce a more interesting fact: vets earn higher salaries than the average American, and although the typical wage is not as high as a medical doctor's, the median annual income for a vet in 2020 was $99,250.
Why World Veterinary Day is Important
It raises awareness about veterinary medicine
This day draws people's attention to the importance of veterinary medicine, its role in protecting animal health and welfare, and its application in human medicine. We love this!
We learn about the veterinarian’s job
It is an opportunity for the veterinary profession to highlight its role in protecting public health and welfare. Vets promote animal welfare and celebrate responsible pet ownership.
It honors veterinarians
World Veterinary Day is meant to honor veterinarians and other members of the veterinary profession for their dedication to animal health and welfare. It also provides an opportunity for people around the world to learn more about the work that veterinarians do.
World Veterinary Day dates