The 19th Night of Museums featured some highly popular issues presented by the University of Veterinary Medicine Budapest. Of course, the key roles were played by vets and animals. According to the official statistics, 529 adults and 317 children entered the University’s gate with their wristbands, while the total number of all participants was 973.
Visitors of the István Street Campus were greeted by the bronze statue of Csatlós, the famous bull, whose position was also the starting point of the competition called MuseNight Detective – Treasure Hunt on the Campus, which led the guests all the way through the labyrinth of veterinary medicine. The participants who decided to join the hunt were certainly kept busy for the next hours by their QR code adventure.
The most common question of the visitors was: what does a vet do? Veterinary students answered the questions and showed a few old and new tools used in veterinary work. The instruments were presented in more detail in the exhibition in the grand hall where visitors could also get an insight into the achievements of the greatest figures in the history of veterinary science and the University. They were guided by senior lecturer Dr. István Kótai of the Department of Anatomy and Histology.
The grand hall also hosted the show of Ferenc Alex Sándor and his dog, Syrius, where the pair demonstrated the role of learning games and tricks in dogs’ lives. Since it was held twice, it was the programme’s most popular presentation.
Veterinarian Dr. Szabina Tóth gave a snapshot from the life of a wildlife rescue centre, from accidents through operations to often miraculous recoveries. Children and adults could all enjoy the educational show on animal welfare co-presented by Dr. Szilvia Vetter, the head of the Legal, Analytical and Methodological Center for Animal Welfare and songwriter, guitarist and singer Attila Dóka.
Associate Professor Emeritus and lecturer Dr. László Visnyei of the Department of Veterinary Forensics, Law and Economics talked about animal welfare and its history. According to his definition, animal welfare efforts are the practical manifestations of humanity’s responsibility for animals. The human responsibility can be identified, codified, accounted for and sanctioned. Animal welfare regulations are not about the “rights” of animals but the responsibility of humans. Animal welfare is more than animal protection because, in addition to meeting animals’ physiological needs, it also requires conditions where animals can practice the ethological behaviour inherent to their species.
In his lecture titled “Responsible ownership vs. animal abuse – where is the line?” veterinarian Dr. Milán Kondor of the Department of Anatomy and Histology explained his position on this current issue.
Veterinary assistant Ildikó Czigány of the Department of Exotic Animal and Wildlife Medicine acted as the moderator of an animal welfare quiz show called “Living museum – special animals, living fossils”. Her insights will certainly motivate many participants to visit the Budapest Zoo to find out more about the animals discussed during the Night of Museums.
The afternoon went far into the night, but visitors were able to try animal-themed board games, puzzles and memory games, too. The stands of the Foundation for Wild and Exotic Animal Welfare and the Hungarian Ferret Club operated on a no-touch policy, but visitors were allowed to pet snakes.