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Veterinary science: Traditionally, farmers had to rely on their own experience and a combination of local lore and potions to deal with a sick or suffering animal.

Vets in practice

The shepherd dealt as best he could on a daily basis with the ailments and injuries of his sheep. The blacksmith could be a great source of knowledge on the health and fitness of horses. To assist, a range of tools, relatively crude by modern standards, was available. The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons received its charter in 1844 and veterinary science emerged in its own right during the second half of the nineteenth century. The picture shows a vet in the early 1950s using an adapted version of a wartime mine detector to test whether a cow had a piece of baler wire lodged in its stomach.

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Veterinary science


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The Museum of English Rural Life, University of Reading, UK.
Email: merl@reading.ac.uk Telephone: 0118 378 8660