Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Mapping the teaching of aquatic animal veterinary medicine in the European Union and European Free Trade Area
  1. Despoina Iatridou1,2,
  2. Laura Pohl3,
  3. Nancy De Briyne2,
  4. Dušan Palić4,
  5. Jimmy H Saunders5 and
  6. Ana Bravo3,6
  1. 1Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Merelbeke, Belgium
  2. 2Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE), Brussels, Belgium
  3. 3European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVE), Vienna, Austria
  4. 4Department of Fish Diseases and Fish Biology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Munich, Germany
  5. 5Department of Medical Imaging of Domestic Animals and Orthopaedics of Small Animals, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Merelbeke, Belgium
  6. 6Department of Anatomy, Animal Production and Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Veterinary Faculty in Lugo, University of Santiago de Compostela, Lugo, Spain
  1. Correspondence to Dr Despoina Iatridou; despoina{at}


Aquatic animal production is the fastest growing food sector globally. Aquaculture and fisheries are very dynamic sectors in the EU and the number of ornamental aquarium pets is increasing. Veterinarians have a fundamental role to play by ensuring health and welfare of aquatic species, productivity and profitability of fish farming, public health and ecosystem conservation. This study investigates how the undergraduate curriculum prepares future veterinarians for such roles by analysing data from the 77 European veterinary education establishments based in EU and the European Free Trade Area. Over 95 per cent of these establishments incorporate teaching in aquatic animal veterinary medicine in their curriculum, while the great majority do so within the core curriculum. Almost half of the establishments provide teaching in aquatic animal veterinary medicine as separate subjects. Many establishments (>40 per cent) provide such training as elective option in their undergraduate curricula or as postgraduate opportunities to enhance Day One Competences. The veterinary education establishments integrating adequately aquatic animal veterinary medicine in their curriculum are evenly distributed in all regions of Europe. Veterinarians are trained and empowered by legislation to assess health of aquatic animals, to diagnose, to prescribe medicines, to notify for diseases and to ensure safe food for the consumers. Veterinary education establishments should encourage training of veterinarians to follow a career in aquatic animal veterinary medicine.

  • veterinary curriculum
  • aquatic animals
  • aquaculture
  • ornamental fish
  • Day One Competencies

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:

View Full Text

Statistics from


  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement No additional data are available.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.