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ISAH – History

History in brief

Dr. Rafai Pál


The short history of the ISAH  (updated 28.01.2017) written by Professor Emeritus PÁL RAFAI, Honorary Member of the Society (Department of Animal Hygiene, Herdhealth and Veterinary Ethology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Budapest).


The beginnings of friendly contacts and scientific communication between animal hygienists of western and eastern European countries date back to the sixties. They were initiated most of all by the developing animal production and the intensification-oriented changes in animal husbandry and the associated health risk. The requirements on the exchange of information and scientific collaboration increased and culminated in the statutory meeting of the International Society for Animal Hygiene (ISAH) held in Budapest.

This meeting took place on initiative of Prof. Dr. Ferenc Kovács, Director of the Institute for Veterinary Hygiene of the University of Veterinary Sciences in Budapest in close collaboration with Prof. Dr. h. c. Johann Kalich, the then head of the Institute for Animal Hygiene of the Ludwig Maximilliann's University in Munich and Prof. J. Rosocha, the head of the Institute of animal hygiene of the University of Veterinary Medicine in Kosice. In September 1970, Prof. Kovács sent a letter to many colleagues in eastern and western European countries and proposed the foundation of an international society for animal hygiene. He invited all interested colleagues to the conference on construction of agricultural buildings within the scope of which the International society for Animal Hygiene has been founded and the Executive Board and Extended Board were formed. Prof. Kovács was asked to organize the Ist Congress of the ISAH. Besides Prof. Kovács, Prof. Kalich and Prof. Rosocha the following animal hygienists participated in the statutory meeting:

Prof. Dr. J. Rosocha, Košice, Doc. Dr. J. Hojovec, Brno, Prof. Dr. h.c. Hermann Willinger, Vienna, Prof. Dr. Dr.h.c. Dieter Strauch, Stuttgart, Prof. Dr. K. Petrof and Dr. P. Stojanov, Sofia, Dr. R. Motz, Berlin-Ost, Dr. P. Schmoldt, Eberswalde, Prof. Dr. I. Szép, Gödölö, Prof. Dr. M. Cena, Wroclaw, Prof. Dr. Z. Czajkowski, Prof. Dr. E. Camo and Prof. Dr. D. Varenika , Sarajevo, Dr. N. Hrgovic and Prof. Dr. J. Puhac, Belgrade and Prof. Dr.J. Ivoš, Zagreb.

By the establishment of the Society the founders wanted - to promote organized collaboration among animal hygienists and create forum for their regular meetings in a world, which then was politically distributed,

  • to accelerate the spreading of scientific information
  • to assist in the formation of uniform understanding of animal hygiene as one of the branches of veterinary science
  • to help to realize new scientific achievements for the benefit of animal production
  • to serve both the economic production of foods of animal origin and improvement of quality of the products.

It was decided that international congresses of the Society will take place every third year. The congresses give an opportunity to present, discuss and evaluate new scientific knowledge in animal hygiene regarding the influence of various environmental factors on animal health, behaviour and productivity.

Members of the newly elected Boards prepared a preliminary statute proposal which was discussed at working sessions in Yugoslavia in September 1971 and in Hungary in April 1972. The program of the first Congress was also agreed upon at these sessions.

The first Congress of the International Society for Animal Hygiene was held in Budapest, Hungary in 1973. The following Congresses were organized in Zagreb (Yugoslavia, 1976), Vienna (Austria, 1980), Štrbské Pleso (Czechoslovakia, 1982), Hannover (Germany, 1985), Skara (Sweden, 1988), Leipzig (Germany, 1991), St. Paul, MN (USA1994), Helsinki (Finland, 1997), Maastricht (The Netherlands, 2000), Mexico City (Mexico, 2003), Warsaw (Poland, 2005), Tartu (Estonia, 2007), Vechta (Germany, 2009), Vienna (Austria, 2011), Nanjing (China, 2013), Košice (Slovakia, 2015). Proceedings were published for each of the congresses.

The following members - scientists and professors - have served as Presidents:

  • F. Kovács, Hungary (1970–1973)
  • J. Ivoš, Yugoslavia (1973–1976)
  • H. Willinger, Austria (1976–1980)
  • J. Rosocha, Czechoslovakia (1980–1982)
  • H. Hilliger, Germany (1982–1985)
  • I. Ekesbo, Sweden (1985–1988)
  • G. Mehlhorn, Germany (1988–1991)
  • S. L. Diesch, USA (1991–1994)
  • H. Saloniemi, Finland (1994–1997)
  • M. Tielen, The Netherlands (1997–2000)
  • J. A. Saltieral, Mexico (2000–2003)
  • A. Krynski, Poland (2003–2005)
  • T. Blaha, Germany (2005–2010)
  • J. Hartung, Germany (2010–)