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175 Years of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

Jul 31, 2019
2019 marks the 175th anniversary of the founding of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. Throughout the year events have been planned to celebrate the institution which came into being with its Royal Charter on the 19th of April 1884. 

Father and son veterinary surgeons Thomas Mayer and Thomas Walton Mayer, unhappy with the quality of veterinary education and highlighting the need for reform in standards, wrote a petition to the Royal Veterinary College who further distributed them for other veterinary professionals to sign. Over 250 veterinary surgeons sent back letters agreeing for their signatures to be added to this petition, which initiated the campaign for a Charter to create the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS).

The RVCS will be undertaking three key initiatives this year to commemorate the anniversary.

Firstly, the RVCS will digitalise and showcase the original petition letters and will write to 175 practices in similar areas to receive their views on the future and current state of the profession 175 years later. The information gathered will be used to create a strategic plan going forward. 

The second initiative will see the RCVS publish an interactive, digital timeline of key events for the veterinary profession over the past 175 years.

Finally, a cohort of UK veterinary students will be selected and accompanied over the following 25 years to better understand initial hopes and aspirations and their subsequent career choices and paths.

On behalf of all at the VCMS we wish all of those involved with the RCVS many congratulations as they mark this important date in their history.

For more information on the RCVS visit

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