Military Veterinary Science

Military Veterinary Science


the theory and practice of veterinary medicine in the armed forces.

The existence of military veterinary science as a separate branch of science and practice is due to the particular tasks involved in providing veterinary support for the army (the specific conditions of military service, the performance of veterinary therapeutic and prophylactic measures under combat conditions, and the special conditions of epizootiology and the clinical course of diseases). In the USSR, the tasks of military veterinary science are assigned to the military veterinary service, an organization designed to protect the health of animals in the forces, restore their fitness for service, and inspect the provisioning of the forces with meat and other livestock products. Military veterinary medicine came into being along with the appearance of regular armies (cavalry and horse-drawn artillery). In Russia, the official post of farrier (konoval) was introduced for the first time in dragoon regiments early in the 18th century. In 1810 the Rus-sian Army had its first veterinarians. During the Patriotic War of 1812 field veterinary hospitals were established, and a system for evacuating sick and wounded animals from the front to the rear was organized. Later on a system of stage evacuation and of the treatment of animals and veterinary supply of the army was developed. Soviet military medicine provided veterinary support for the troops during the Great Patriotic War (1941-45). The main tasks of military veteri-nary medicine are veterinary support of units and installations, cooperation with the medical service in efforts to protect the personnel against infectious diseases shared by animals and man, and inspection of meat, milk, and other livestock products supplied to the troops (supervision of the slaughtering of farm animals intended for provisioning the troops and examination on veterinary and sanitary matters). Cooperation between military and civilian veterinary medicine is called for by the Veterinary Charter of the USSR. Military veterinary medicine is found in the armies of most countries.


“Voennaia veterinariia.” In Veterinarnaia entsiklopediia, vol. 2. Moscow, 1969.


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