De rol van de dierenarts bij de oprichting en ontwikkeling van de Nederlandse Dierenbescherming in de periode 1864 - 1964
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In this research project, the role of the veterinarian in the establishment and development of the Dutch Society for the Protection of Animals in the period 1864 - 1964 was studied. In 1864 Holland’s first Society for the Protection of Animals was founded, in The Hague. It was named the ‘‘s-Gravenhaagsche Vereeniging tot Bescherming van Dieren’. In 1877 the name of the Association was changed in ´Nederlandsche Vereeniging tot Bescherming van Dieren´ (hereafter referred to as NVBD). It was now possible for local societies in the Netherlands to join the NVBD. Initially, most of the members of the NVBD belonged to the elite, they were aristocrats and academics. The role of biology and veterinary medicine was very small until the First World War. It seems that veterinarians considered the projects of the NVBD a bit overdone and the animal protectors too sentimental. After the First World War, vets were invited to share their knowledge and to come up with scientific input. Animal Protection committees were formed; some of their members were veterinarians. There were also veterinarians who took a seat in the Board of the NVBD. In 1949 the ‘Dierenbeschermingsadviesraad’ (Advisory board), which was supposed to be a knowledge body of the NVBD, was formed. As more veterinarians were committed to the NVBD, there was more attention from the veterinary profession. This was important not only from the viewpoint of animal welfare, but also to reduce quackery and to obtain a better position. Vets were propagating the work they did for the NVBD and the NVBD mentioned the names of these vets in their books. There are several issues in which veterinarians and animal protectors came into contact with each other. These issues included vivisection, stunned slaughter, legislation in the field of animal welfare and setting up clinics and first aid courses. In the case of vivisection, veterinarians and the NVBD were directly opposites. In other cases the NVBD found the scientific arguments of the vets useful. Veterinarians in turn were able to make use of the efforts of animal protectors. The Dutch ‘Society for Veterinary Medicine’ (MvD) initially didn’t take a particular position on animal welfare and –protection. In the thirties of the twentieth century, the MvD became more interested in ethical subjects. Cases like transport of injured cattle and tale and ear docking were discussed. In one section of the ‘Code for veterinarians’ (1940) attention was paid to the NVBD. The MvD took a position on tail docking, humane killing and neutering of animals. In the second ‘Code’ (1960) the MvD advised veterinarians to respond to requests of the NVBD, but also to think carefully about which animal protection societies they wanted to help. Until 1964, there was seldom cooperation between the NVBD and the MvD. At the end of the research project, I reached the conclusion that veterinarians didn’t have a prominent role in the formation and development of the Dutch Society for the Protection of Animals in the period 1864 - 1964.