The Faculty of Veterinary Science of the University of Pretoria is situated on the Onderstepoort campus of the University some 30 km north west of the main campus in Hatfield and some 15 km due north of the city center of Pretoria (Tshwane).
The Faculty has a proud tradition in veterinary and para-veterinary education, research and service-rendering which dates back to the early 1920's. In 1898 a Swiss-born veterinarian, Arnold Theiler, established a disinfection station and vaccine factory at Daspoort close to Pretoria. When this facility became unsuitable in 1905, Arnold Theiler was instrumental in establishing a new facility at Onderstepoort in 1908 which became the current ARC – Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute (across the road from the current Faculty of Veterinary Science).
During this time and in the years thereafter, the possibility of training veterinarians in South Africa was frequently raised but it was not until 1920 that Sir Arnold Theiler was appointed as Director of Veterinary Education and Research. He served as the first Dean when the first students enrolled for a degree in veterinary science at Onderstepoort under the supervision of the then Transvaal University College. New facilities were inaugurated at the end of 1921 and the first residence opened its doors in 1924. The first South African trained veterinarians (8) qualified in 1924.
The initial intakes were small and the number of veterinarians graduating from the Faculty every year remained below 20 until 1956. The intake was increased to 120 per annum in 2000 and to 135 in 2005.
Physical facilities were gradually added to the original facilities created in 1921 and totally revamped or renewed between 1986 and 1996. The Faculty now boasts a campus which compares most favourably with the best in the world and is one of 27 veterinary faculties in Africa and the only one of its kind in South Africa.
The Faculty has 5 academic departments responsible for teaching, research and service-rendering. These activities are further facilitated by well developed support services provided by an academic hospital, various departmental laboratories, general and student administrative sections, a teaching animal unit, an Equine Research Centre, and a Centre for Veterinary Wildlife Studies. The Veterinary Academic Hospital provides state of the art facilities for the clinical departments and is the focus of the Faculty's service-rendering activities to its immediate community and as a national referral service.
The beautiful campus has its own residence for students who are studying here and student activities range from cultural evenings to sport events and organized rag-activities.