Norwegian Society for the History of Veterinary Medicine
Annual report 2010

The Norwegian Society for the History of Veterinary medicine was established February 9th 1994. The Society is a member of the World Association for the History of Veterinary Medicine.

The main activities of the society are meetings with lectures on subjects with historical relevance. Every year one or two tours are arranged to places with historic interest. A book published every second year is another activity of the society.

At the general assembly 2010 the following board was elected: Trygve Grøndalen (chairperson), Roar Ektvedt, Roar Gudding (international contact), Kristian Ingebrigtsen (secretary), Ola Nyberg (treasurer), Ingveig Olberg and Kirsti Strengehagen.

The society has both personal members and a few institutional supporting members. Most of the personal members are located in the region and the main reason for being a member is the year book which is distributed every second year to all members. The number of active members, having responsibility and participating regularly on meetings, is less than 30. 

In the reporting period one of the founders of the society, Olav Sandvik, passed away. 

The income is based on fee from the members. The main cost is the publishing of the year book.  

There are three types of meetings.
The first Tuesday in the month there is lunch meeting in Oslo with lecture on a subject with historical relevance. The presentation is given by an invited expert in the field. In addition, once each semester a retired veterinarian gives an overview of his professional life.

At the end of the semester there is a meeting in the evening with a more comprehensive lecture. In 2010 “Food hygiene in Trondheim” and “The deer ked in moose” were the subjects. Spouses are invited to these meetings which include a social gathering afterwards.
A third form of meeting is the regional meetings arranged in connection with the national tours. In 2010 the location was Harstad where the regional veterinary history was presented.

The society arranges one or two tours every year, one of these is usually an international tour. The national tour was to Harstad, a town located north of the arctic circle. Furthermore, four members of the society participated in the WAHVM conference in Antalya, Turkey.

Year book
Since 1998 the Society has issued a year book with historical presentations. In the latest publication four female veterinarians presented their experience from their first years in clinical large animal practice during the period 1948 to 1964. Presentations given at meetings in the society are also published in the year book.  

The articles in the year book are of high quality. This is partly due to the work of the editor and his staff. The year book is written in Norwegian and is approx. 150 pages.

During the last 40 years there has been a small veterinary history museum with old equipment and literature at the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science. The museum includes the office of a local veterinarian living in the South-Western part of Norway more than 100 years ago. The daily manager of the museum is a professor at the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, who is a member of the board of the society.





The Society has about 240 professional and non-professional members, 23 family members and 6 support members.

Meetings and professional activities.

Two national meetings are usually held each year presenting lectures on themes related to the history of veterinary medicine, given by invited speakers or by members of the Society. In the spring of 2004, the national meeting for the first time was arranged outside the region of Oslo – near the city of Stavanger on the south-west coast of Norway – an area of great importance for Norwegian husbandry and veterinary activities, especially related to sheep husbandry.

The meeting included the general assembly of the Society and was arranged in collaboration with the local veterinary association of the Stavanger region.

The following lectures were given during the national meetings:

November 2003:         “From serfdom to high status in food control, Norwegian veterinary

                                   services in a historical perspective” (Dr. Per Folkestad, Asker)

June 2004:                   Theme: “The sheep – an all-right animal!”  (Professor Martha Ulvund and Dr. Karl Johan Lamberg)

Every first Tuesday of the month an informal get-together is organized at The Veterinary College in Oslo, mainly for retired colleagues

Social activities.

Occasionally, excursions are arranged to visit places of cultural and professional interest in Norway and abroad.  In september-october 2003 ten members of the Society visited Mexico, attending the 34thWAHVM Congress in Mexico City and thereafter spent one week in Yucatan, for relaxation and excursions to places of ancient mayan culture and history.

In relation to the arrangement in the Stavanger area, visits were arranged to the regional

State Veterinary Centre and to famous places in the history of Norway in the surroundings of Stavanger.

Publishing activity and information

The Yearbook 2004 under the editorship of dr. Svein Kvalöy was published and distributed to the members of the Society late summer 2004. The yearbook contains 18 articles on subjects related to the history of veterinary medicine, most of the articles are in Norwegian.

Other activities.

Members of the Society occasionally serve as guides to visitors of the Norwegian Veterinary Museum in Oslo.

The contents of the Yearbook 2004:


  • P. Koolmees: Veterinary history as an academic discipline (In English).

    Opening address 34th WAHVM Congress, Mexico City, September 24, 2003, pp 7-10.

  • B. Börresen:  [The History of zoonoses in an evolutionary perspective], pp 11-17.
  • Ö. Tronstad:  [Eivind K.Bolleng, the first veterinarian in Valdres], pp 18-26.
  • THaastein: [Aquaculture – from cultivation to industry. The role of veterinary services nationally and internationally], pp 27-52.
  • PFolkestad: [From serfdom to high status in food control. Norwegian veterinary services in a historical perspective], pp 53-67.
  • O. Sandvik: [Some reflections on zoonoses in past and future], pp 68-80.
  • WVelle: [Norwegian School of Veterinary Science – short historical survey], pp 81-88.
  • OSyrstad: [Dairy marks], pp 89-96.
  • TTollersrud: [Veterinary inspection and Norwegian whaling], pp 97-100.
  • RBirkeland: [Horseshoes and farriers], pp 101-105.
  • K. Ingebrigtsen, A.C. Munthe and A. Fröslie: [Is the old library of “Veterinarlaboratoriet” sinkning into oblivion?], 106-111.
  • JKristoffersen: [“The Vet’s Supper” – A Danish open sandwich with a history], pp 112-117.
  • H. Stormorken: Paul A. Owren – a pioneer in artificial insemination in foxes (in English), pp 118-124.
  • O. Syrstad: [Haakon Isaachsen – Professor and politician], pp 125-128.
  • W. Velle: [A veterinary student and resistance during world war II], pp 129-134.
  • A.R. Öyen: [From Hammerfest to Madagascar – Memories from veterinary work for NORAD], pp 135-150.
  • K.J. Lamberg: [The veterinarian as a poet II.], pp 151-161.