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THE recent articles in Veterinary Record on testing for glanders in equids are to be welcomed (Laroucou and others 2016, Malik 2016). It is largely forgotten that this dreadful disease, also known in its cutaneous form as ‘farcy’, was only finally eradicated in Britain in 1928. It had a long and fearful history in this country, one of the first records being by Fitzherbert in his ‘Boke on Husbandry’ in 1523; it was also listed by Shakespeare as a familiar equine disorder (The Taming of the Shrew, Act III, Scene 2). It was almost certainly the cause of the early death in 1793 of Benoit Charles Vial, the first professor at the newly established Veterinary College at Camden Town, as a result altering the planned course of veterinary education in this country.
One should also not forget the name of the man more responsible than any other single individual for the introduction of legislation to …