Historic Perspetive

Zootechny is Greek-rooted word, devised by Earl of Gasparin by the time of the inauguration of the Agronomic Institute of Versailles, France, in 1848, when agriculture and animal production were parted as yet interrelated, autonomous study areas. Because of its practical and empirical approach, zootechny was firstly perceived and defined as the art of animal farming and husbandry. However, after the efforts of Robert Bakewell (England, 1726-1795), who grounded on empirical trials defined the rational method for breeding sheep and cattle, the English-speaking community fostered the concept and coined the term Animal Science, actually in line with the propositions of Emile Baudement, a naturalist who, running for the chair on animal husbandry at the Agronomic Institute of Versailles in 1849, presented a schooling thesis recommending that, based on such fact, zootechny should start being considered a science.

The Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture Luiz de Queiroz of the University of Sao Paulo [Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ) da Universidade de São Paulo (USP), Piracicaba, SP, Brasil], at campus Luiz de Queiroz, Piracicaba, SP, Brazil, precedes the inauguration of ESALQ itself, for the Department was set up back in the late 1800s as part of the Piracicaba Practical School, while ESALQ was dedicated in 1903. By that time, the so termed Fifth Chair, encompassed teaching and training programs on (i) general and special animal science, (ii) animal physiology and judging, (iii) veterinary pathology, surgery and animal health, and (iv) rural constructions (engineering), head by Dr. Ricardo Ernesto Ferreira de Carvalho, who was also the school’s Dean. The Animal Science Chair and the Agriculture Chair were ESALQ’s founding teaching and training programs.

In 1931 the Fourteenth Chair was unfolded from the Fifth Chair. Teaching and training program of the Fourteenth Chair offered to Agronomic Engineering juniors comprised courses on: (i) principles of animal science and genetics, (ii) farm animals judging, (iii) poultry farm, and (iv) rabbit farming and husbandry. The teaching and training program of the Fifth Chair started being offered to senior students and encompassed courses on (i) especial animal science, (ii) animal bromatology, (iii) dairy products, and (iv) fundamentals of veterinary hygiene. Later in 1940 the “chairs” were termed as ruminant and non-ruminants animal science study areas, giving rise in 1970 to the Department of Animal Science and its respective study areas, headed by Professor  Dr. Aristeu Mendes Peixoto.