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The earliest written records of veterinary medicine can be found in the Egyptian Papyrus of Kahun (1900 BCE) and Vedic literature in ancient India
In Europe, the first attempts to organize and regulate the practice of treating animals tended to focus on horses because of their economic significance. In the Middle Ages, farriers combined their work in shoeing and generally caring for horses' hooves with "horse doctoring". In 1356, the Lord Mayor of London, concerned at the poor standard of care given to horses in the city, requested that all farriers operating within a seven mile radius of the City of London form a "fellowship" to regulate and improve their practices.
The first veterinary college in Europe was founded in Lyon, France in 1762 by Claude Bourgelat. In the ensuing 20 years similar colleges were established in other European cities. The Veterinary College of London was founded in 1791 by a group led by Granville Penn. In the United States, the first veterinarians had been trained in Europe. However, Boston, New York and Philadelphia all had their own private veterinary schools by the 1850s. These urban schools concentrated primarily on the care of horses. By the turn of the 20th century, several American agricultural colleges had started their own veterinary schools which were focused on livestock animals. In 1879, Iowa Agricultural College became the first land grant college to establish a school of veterinary medicine.