The Netherlands

Annual report 2005 of the activities of the Dutch association for the history of veterinary medicine: (Veterinair Historisch Genootschap)

Two scientific meetings were held in 2005. 

On March 31 the spring session was held in Utrecht at the faculty of veterinary medicine. The program on the theme “Alternative veterinary therapies” consisted of four lectures . Professor V. Baumans gave an overview of the history of homeopathy, from the Similia priciple in the Greek antiquity, via the father of human homeopathy, S.F.C. Hahnemann to the application in veterinary medicine. Dr. J. Berns talked about “ Animal doctors: saints as patrons of livestock”. During the recent epizooties several saints appeared to gain a new popularity as protectors of livestock. The speaker memorated the wealthy tradition of this cultural phenomenon. Dr. Th. W. Selen lectured about the history of veterinary cauterisation: branding, prophyllactic cauterisation, indications and effects, instruments and methods. Dr. J.T. Lumeij opposed the affirmation of modern veterinary acupuncturists that their trade is a centuries-old tradition; he demonstrated that this is based on inaccurate interpretations of anatomical and bloodletting charts and no proof of early veterinary acupuncture. 

On November 3rd the autumn meeting took place in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, where the exhibition "Fierce friends" focusing on the changing relationship between animal and man in the XIXth century, was being held. Dr. H. Defoer spoke about "Animal figurines in ancient cultures". He is a passionate collector of mediterranean and oriental archeological objects representing animals. The exhibition was then introduced: With the rise of zoos and natural history musea in the 19th century, knowledge about the animal kingdom and interest in the subject grew enormously. How did artists respond? How is the changing image of the animal world reflected in their work? And how did art influence this changing image? The exposition offered answers to these and other questions about our attitudes to animals today and in previous centuries. 

On December 31th the association counted 280 members. 

Argos appeared twice: numbers 32 and 33. 

The 36th annual congres of the World Association for the History of Veterinary Medicine was held in Minneapolis in September. Dr. Koolmees, Dutch correspondent attended.