Veterinarians are highlighting the essential role they play in agriculture and the country's economy, as they launch a year of events to mark the founding of their profession.
The establishment of formal vet practices began 250 years ago with the opening of the first veterinary school in Lyon, France.
One of the big challenges for the profession has been the decline in the number of vets working in rural areas.
A Government-funded bonding scheme is attempting to reverse that by encouraging veterinary graduates to work in hard to staff areas.
The New Zealand Veterinary Association's president, Richard Wild, says vets are also adapting to changing conditions by forming larger practices.