The history of  Animal Sciences in Wageningen

The basis for the study Livestock, Zoötechnics and nowadays Animal Sciences has been established in 1861, when mr. W.C.H. Starin was sent abroad for a study of education in animal husbandry and the functioning of this education in foreign countries. Two years later a non-government-bill was presented by mr. Thorbecke, which should allow the establishing of higher agricultural education in the Netherlands. In 1873, the Municipal Agricultural University in Wageningen was founded. Three years later this university became the Rijkslandbouwhogeschool (National Agricultural College). Until 1918, the Rijkslandbouwhogeschool was functioning without any professor. In 1918 mr. L. Broekema was named as the first professor. Three years later, mr. D.L. Bakker succeeded mr. L. Broekema .


The first time that changes were made in the Rijkslandbouwhogeschool was in 1956. A division of  22 engineer studies has been made and the propaedeutics extended to one year. In 1968, the study Livestock was divided into three disciplines; animal breeding, and animal health and tropical livestock. In response to demands of the ministry, in 1975 a direction for fish farming was added to the study program. Due to this change the umbrella name "Livestock" was no longer sufficient. One decides to change the name in Zoötechnics, graduated students became Zoötechnicus.


As a result of the growth of the study Zoötechnics over the years, all specializations dispersed throughout Wageningen. The need arose to place all these specializations together under one roof. In 1976 the construction of the Zodiac, the future home of all staff and students Zootechnics, started. In 1978 the Zodiac was ready for use. Five years later, the various departments became independently of each other. In 1986 the first reorganization was a fact, and the Rijkslandbouwhogeschool changed into Landbouw Universiteit Wageningen (Agricultural University Wageningen). At first, students needed on average seven years  to finish the study Zoötechnics. However, this study, not only under the pressure of the minister, was reduced to a during of five years. In 1999 the name of Landbouw Universiteit Wageningen changed into Wageningen Agricultural University (WAU). Later this year the name changed to Wageningen University (WU). Through reorganization of the Department of Animal Sciences, the name of the study Zootechnics changed into Animal Sciences, which is the current name.


Also in recent years, many changes took place in the Animal Sciences program. For example, in September 2010 the Towards Flexibility system was introduced. Bachelor studies were divided into semesters and must be completed with a thesis. There came  many opportunities to follow minors and exchange between domestic and international students became easier. Less good news was that in 2010 the Halbe-fine was implemented. From academic year 2012-2013, students with a delay of more than one year for both the bachelor and master programs, must pay a fine of three thousand euro to the government.


In October 2011, the Department of Animal Sciences moved from the old  Zodiac, located at the Marijkeweg, to the new Zodiac located at the Elst. The purpose is to locate all parts of Wageningen University on a campus together. Also study association  "De  Veetelers" has found her place in the new Zodiac.


Studievereniging "De Veetelers"

These previous events contributed all in some degree to the formation of the current student Animal Sciences. The main event is not yet mentioned. In 1962 the formation of study association "De Veetelers" took place. The study association has the following objectives:


  • The promotion of  the study interests of its members
  • The stimulation of the contact between students in Animal Sciences
  • Contribute to the development of its members in relation to the society


In the past fifty years, the study association  has become increasingly active and has prominent name in Wageningen and beyond. From an association focused exclusively on education issues, study associotion "De Veetelers" grew to an association focused on education, the link with practical situations,  social development of students and of course sociability among students Animal Sciences.

Favourite species of students Animal Sciences are represented in the sub associations; Rundvee Fokkerij Studieclub (Cattle Breeding Study Club), Porculum, Aquarius, Schapen en Geiten Studie Club (Sheep and Goat Study Club) and the Paarden Fokkerij Club (Horse Breeding Club).


In 2001 a new main sponsorship contract was signed. Instead of the name Hendrix UTD the name Nutreco will be used in the future. The other sponsor was still Rabobank Wageningen Rhenen. In 2005 ABN-AMRO Bank became main sponsor of the association  instead of Rabobank Wageningen Rhenen.

Due to new developments regarding companion animals,  in academic year 2003-2004 the Companion Animals Working Group was established. To give the working group  more freedom and independence, the group changed to the sub association Bestia Turba Ferina in 2007. This sub association focuses on providing activities for non-production animals


During the first performance of  Véater in 2008, Martin Verstegen, Mariet Verstegen, Jos Raaijmakers, Reinoud Tube, Egbert Egberts and Ab Green received the title honorary member of study association "De Veetelers". They are strongly involved, have done much and still do much for the association. During the first performance of Véater in 2009, Rommert Politiek received the title honorary member of the association. Rommert Politiek was as a professor co-founded of study association "De Veetelers" in 1962. Also, during the first performance of Véater in 2009, the association thanked Mariet Verstegen for her effort as patroness, Mariet was patroness since the 10th  Zoötechnical Almanac. In 2009 Natasha Gianotten succeed Mariet as patroness.


In 2010, the well-attended symposium "How to keep the planet alive" took place in the CineMec in Ede. Unfortunately. The year 2011 was an active year for study "De Veetelers". Okke Meeuwes received the title Kloosterman 2011 during the second performance of Véater 2011. Many members have spent their precious time in the preparations for the 50th  anniversary of the association, which will be celebrated in February 2012. The relocation of the Zodiac, in October 2011, resulted in several hectic days for study association "De Veetelers" and students. The new building is an improvement, but we still need some time to get used to it! Also in 2011 the sponsorship contracts with the main sponsors, Nutreco and ABN-AMRO Bank, are renewed for five years. The 22th of November 2011 the 28th  Zoötechnical Almanac was released.