Moscow veterinarians tell about the history of the capital's veterinary service

Moscow veterinarians tell about the history of the capital's veterinary service
Viktor Kremnevsky and Vladimir Burkov, Advanced Training Department of the Moscow Veterinary Association
Exhibits of an unusual Museum at the Pets Disease Control Office in the East of Moscow - in the article.

The Museum (being also a History class) of Moscow Veterinary Service, housed by Pets Disease Control Office of the Eastern Administrative District, is well known to specialists in this field. The founders and curators of the exposition, employees of the Advanced Training Department of the Moscow Veterinary Association Vladimir Burkov and Viktor Kremnevsky guide tours for everyone, but mostly for young vets, field-oriented college students and participants of advanced training courses.

"This is not a conventional Museum, but a History class of the Advanced Training Department, initiated by the former Chairman of the Veterinary Committee of Moscow Alexander Tunik, who headed it from 2006 to 2016. Not only Moscow residents visit it, but also the veterinarians from all regions of Russia and some CIS countries. Recently, specialists from Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan came to visit our Museum," Vladimir Burkov said.

Vladimir Burkov

The building has been hosting this Museum  since 2014. However, according to the historical documents we have here, in 1920 the Moscow veterinary services had their own Museum in the Moscow Province.

"Unfortunately, we have failed to find any exhibits of that Museum in Moscow or the Moscow region. But we know for sure that the Museum was located in the building today housing the Embassy of the United Mexican States in Khamovniki, in Bolshoy Levshinsky Pereulok.

In addition, in the 1920s there was a House of Veterinary Education in Moscow. Apparently, it was really necessary, because in those day there were a lot of animals in Moscow, mainly horses, due to mostly horse-drawn urban transport. The House of Veterinary Education was located in the present building of the School of Modern Drama Theatre," said the Museum curator.

Moscow Veterinary Service’s development from the middle of the 19th century to the present day

The exhibits tell the story of the development of veterinary medicine in Moscow since 1823, it was the time when a sole position of a state veterinarian in the Veterinary and Sanitary Department of Moscow Police was introduced.

"First it had only one veterinarian. Gradually the number of employees increased, but not much. It was not before the late 19th century that epizoologist Valentin Nagorsky was invited from St. Petersburg to Moscow to combat epizootic diseases.  He opened a veterinary office at the local district council. And on 10 March 1933, the Municipal Veterinary Department at the Moscow City Executive Committee was established, and we consider this date the beginning of Moscow veterinary services development," Vladimir Burkov explained.

In addition to archival documents and photos, information boards and old equipment, the Museum features items from family collection of Viktor Kremnevsky, a representative of the oldest veterinary dynasty. He has supplemented the exposition with medical instruments brought by his ancestors from different parts of Russia, and handwritten documents of the end of the century before last.

"Our dynasty of veterinary specialists started with my grandfather and great-grandfather, horse doctors Ivan and Fyodor Smorodins. There is a certificate of 11 February 1896 issued by a veterinarian of the Arkhangelsk Province that “Ivan Smorodin has passed the test successfully, and from now on he is allowed to be a horse doctor”. My grandfather, Fyodor Smorodin, had graduated from a veterinary school and worked as a veterinarian in the Leshukonsky Sovkhoz (state farm). My father, Alexander Kremnevsky, had graduated from the Leningrad Veterinary Institute and worked as a chief veterinarian of a state farm, a head of the Animals Disease Control Office of the Leshukonsky District, a chief doctor of the Mezensky Production Association, which included Leshukonsky and Mezensky districts (presently the Arkhangelsk region), as well as the entire Nenets Autonomous Area. My mother, Lidia Kremnevskaya (Smorodina), was also a veterinarian all her life, she assisted my father, took his duties when he was away studying or went on business trips," Viktor told.

Viktor Kremnevsky

Viktor Kremnevsky's wife, Maria, is a vet, too: they met as students at the Skryabin Moscow State Academy of Veterinary Medicine and  Biotechnology. Later she worked as a teacher at the Academy’s Department of Internal Medicine and as a veterinarian and a Deputy Chief of the Moscow Veterinary Association. Alexander's daughter also followed in the footsteps of her parents. She graduated from the same University and became a fifth-generation veterinarian.

Everyone is free to visit the unusual Museum and learn the history of Moscow veterinary medicine. For the schedule of exhibition tours, lectures and meetings with the veterinary service old-timers, as well to make an appointment please call +7 (495) 370-05-29.