Vet school celebrates 50 years

A vet is a short word for veterinarian, an animal doctor. This year, Massey University in Palmerston North is celebrating 50 years since it opened the Veterinary school. Tomorrow, the school will celebrate this occasion with a day of speakers and a dinner.

Before 1963, any New Zealander wanting to be a vet usually went to a university in Australia. However, in 1963 Massey began training vets in New Zealand. That year, there were 32 students studying for a five-year Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree. Today there are more than 500 students studying Veterinary Education at different levels including PhD. It is still the only university in New Zealand with a veterinary programme.

The school has a teaching hospital for small animals like dogs and cats, and another hospital for horses. These hospitals have all the equipment you would find in a hospital for people: x-ray, ultra-sound and so on. At the farm clinic, students learn about farm animals like sheep, cattle, deer and goats. Students also learn how to care for injured wildlife, like penguins covered in oil.

New Zealand is an agricultural country so we need vets to look after farm animals. We also need vets for horse racing which is a popular entertainment. Many families have a pet and vets are needed to keep pets healthy.

Listen to April 27th 2013 to hear more about birds covered in oil.


• and so on – more things like that, etc
• clinic – a medical building, part of a hospital
• cattle – cows and bulls
• wildlife – animals in a natural environment e.g. living in a forest
• injured – hurt in an accident
• agricultural – animal farming


Plurals: sheep, deer, cattle do not add ‘s’ for plural. Singular of ‘cattle’ is ‘cow’ or ‘bull’ or ‘a cattle beast’

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