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Author: Stanko Petrov

Editor's Note: The author of this textbook — Prof. Stanko Petrov (1880 - unknown; graduate in DVM from Berne and Stuttgart) — has been rather neglected as authority in animal sciences, both in Bulgaria and abroad. Even if we accept this sequestration as self-indulgent, from standpoint of his literary heritage we ought to pay respect to this anonymous scholar. The catalogue of his written monographs and articles is imposing; altogether this one, + textbooks on veterinary hygiene, animal nutrition, etc., which were published by "University Library", + numerous articles from peer reviewed journals. The scientific perspective of his research reveals fields which were little explored by the lay university readership, such as animal husbandry and livestock breeding, racial characteristics of farm animals, Mendelian rules of inheritance, variability and selection. Terminology in his books comes from German, i.e., "zuchtungbiologie", "tierzucht", "haustiere", ditto.


Brief History of Veterinary Medical Faculty

The idea about the foundation of a veterinary medical faculty in Bulgaria emerges because of the need of veterinary certification of livestock production and export combined with the impossibility to ensure the needed number of veterinary professionals by tuition in foreign veterinary medicine universities. The proposal was first brought up in 1897, and after several unsuccessful attempts, was resurrected again after the First World War. The moving force of this process is the Association of Veterinary Professionals in Bulgaria. Thus, in 1921 the amendment to the Public Education Act reglamented the foundation of a Faculty of Veterinary Medicine with 9 departments. The practical implementation of the idea was a continuous process, accompanied by many difficulties, efforts and strengthening of Bulgarian higher veterinary medical education.

First Dean of FVM was elected Prof. Stefan Angelov. First regular Faculty Council consisting of three regularly elected professors (Prof. Stefan Angelov, Prof. Grozyo Dikov and Prof. Stanko Petrov) was convened. Another eminent figure from the faculty staff was Prof. Georgi Pavlov, graduate from Italy and fellow citizen of Prof. Stefan Angelov (both born in Kotel). The date 11 May 1923 is accepted as initial in the FVM chronology. Further pathway of the FVM is determined by the social economic development of the country and notably, with the related establishment of the veterinary medical system on one part and the progress in veterinary science on the other.


FVM as part of Sofia University (1923-1948)

The first professors were graduates of the higher veterinary schools in Berlin, Vienna, Lyon and Torino. International contests for heads of three major departments were announced. Thus, joint efforts of German and Bulgarian educators, having graduated abroad, provide an explanation of the successful start of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. The first courses started in the spring semester of the academic year 1923-1924 with 33 students and they took place in the Bacteriological Station and the Military Veterinary Hospital. The number of students, enrolled in the years that followed, was about 30. The first curriculum was approved by the Faculty Council on 12 January 1924 and consisted of 40 courses with specific number of theoretical and practical hours per semester.

The FVM founders thought about the material base as a primary precondition for effective tuition and research development. In the period 1930-1938, the faculty premises and clinics were built on 740 decares of land. Construction works were funded by the National Veterinary Service by transfer of resources from the funds “Epizooties” and “Veterinary therapeutic services”. Thus, the youngest faculty of the Sofia University obtained an own material base before the other faculties did. This success was the result of the professional unanimous actions of the Veterinary section to the Ministry of Agriculture and State Property, and the newly founded faculty.


FVM as part of the "Georgi Dimitrov" Agricultural Academy (1948-1974)

Agricultural Academy was created in Sofia from 17 September 1948. It consisted of four faculties, 3 of them taken from the Sofia University structure (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Agronomy, Faculty of Forestry) and the newly created Faculty of Zootechnics (1947). This reorganization corresponded to the restructuring of Bulgarian higher education. The transformations consisted in a serious internal reform of educational units and alteration in the principal elements of the tuition, curriculum and academic programmes, in two main directions: methodologically, according to Marxist-Leninist principles, and organizationally, on a planned basis.

During that period and further in the 1960s, the Higher Institute of Veterinary Medicine maintained its reputation as a renowned higher education establishment. In the FAO classification of recommended higher veterinary medicine establishments in the world, the HIVM occupied the prestigious 14th position.


FVM as part of the Higher Institute of Zootechnics and Veterinary Medicine - Stara Zagora (1974-1995)

With a Decree of the Council of Ministers from 7 May 1974, a division of the Agricultural Academy was created in Stara Zagora under the name of Higher Institute of Zootechnics and Veterinary Medicine (HIZVM). This relocation of the FVM had primary concern for creation of appropriate conditions for tuition and research. The structure of the FVM comprised 18 departments. Most of professors (about 75%) came from Sofia to Stara Zagora and this was considered the main reason for the successful transfer of academic traditions to the new site.

For 85 years, the FVM has trained about 12,000 veterinary professionals in order to overcome the existing deficit. The gained international appreciation of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine as a renowned higher education establishment, motivated many countries to send their nationals for obtaining a degree in veterinary medicine in Bulgaria. About 400 foreign citizens from 46 countries graduated from the FVM and another 60 had finished their PhD studies here.


Professor Stephan Angeloff (1878-1964)

Prof. Stephan Angeloff was born on 28 February 1878 in Kotel. Graduated from the Berlin University in 1901 as a DVM. He specialized in microbiology in the laboratory of Robert Koch in Koch's Institute in Berlin (1905-1908) working with his famous collaborators Wassermann, Lentz, Schilling, Doenitz, Loeffler, Gafki and also in the laboratory of Prof. Oestertag in the Institute of Hygiene in Berlin. He defended his doctor's degree in 1907 in Giessen where he worked with Ulenchut. Later he specialized in Frankfurt with Paul Ehrlich, and in Paris at the Pasteur Institute with Gaston Ramon. He became known for his serious research work in Bulgaria as follows:

1909 - Introduction of the Wassermann reaction for serodiagnostics of syphilis;

1909 - Head of the Veterinary Bacteriological Center in Sofia for 22 years;

1910 - Production for the first time in Bulgaria of tuberculin, malein, anti-antrax vaccine and serum against antrax;

1912 - Production of serum against hog cholera; Diagnosis of cholera and classical typhus during the Balkan war;

1913 - Elected Head of the Medical Bacteriological Institute in Sofia; Production of anti-cholera vaccine; Start of the protozoological investigation in Bulgaria - hemosporidiosis in the Aegean region and durin in horse farms; Creation of center in Ladgakjoy, near Burgas, organizing the fight against rinderpest by developing a vaccine, and due to this activity the spread of rinderpest in Europe is stopped for the first time in centuries;

1923 - Founder and first professor of the Department of Bacterial and Infectious Diseases of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the Sofia University, later elected five times for Dean of this Faculty;

1930 - Introduction of foot-and-mouth disease diagnosis;

1940 - Doctor Honoris Causa of the Higher Veterinary School in Hanover; Elected Honorable Member of the Royal Leopoldine-Karoline Academy of Natural Sciences in Haale;

1941/1942 - Rector of the Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski";

1947 - Elected Regular Member (Academician) of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences; Director of the newly founded by his initiative Institute of Microbiology of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences;

1949 - First description of erysipeloid (together with Prof. Ljuben Popov);

1951 - First communication on Q-fever in Bulgaria.



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