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Veterinary seminar

Speech by HM the King at a veterinary seminar during a state visit to Ireland, september 2006.

Public representatives,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Queen and I are very pleased to visit Ireland – a country which in many ways is comparable to Norway. Both countries face the sea on the geographical periphery of Europe, and both our populations understand the importance of close cooperation with other nations.

I would like to thank University College Dublin and the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science for taking the initiative to organise this conference, and I would also like to thank all the other institutions and individuals who are contributing to the conference programme. The conference reflects a resolve to improve education for the younger generation and to offer opportunities for teachers and researchers to exchange ideas and develop bilateral research programmes.

Modern biotechnology is an important area of the life sciences. A fundamental physiological and genetic relationship has been demonstrated between all life forms on this planet. Veterinary medicine is developed using the same methods and scientific principles as we use in our efforts to improve human health and welfare. Human health depends on the health of the plants, animals and fish we eat. At the same time, animals and fish have their own value, and we want to ensure their health and welfare for their own sake.

Scientists need to develop new knowledge in life sciences to be able to give the best possible advice to governments, government agencies, industry and the general population. This is vital for a sustainable environment. And it is vital to prevent the outbreak or spread of diseases among animals, fish and humans. But this is only possible where there is good cooperation between nations, politicians, civil servants, industry and scientists.

Although this conference is primarily focused on veterinary medicine, it will also explore a broad range of areas of cooperation within both veterinary and human medicine. In the context of this exiting seminar, I am pleased to inform you that University College Dublin and the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science intend to establish a “chair”, with a view to strengthening scientific cooperation and facilitating the exchange of scholars, teachers and students.

This is not cooperation between nations but between people, and we will do well to foster and put our trust in the enthusiasm and personal networks of our young talents.

Ladies and gentlemen, I wish you all a fruitful conference. It is my sincere hope that mutually beneficial cooperation in life sciences between Ireland and Norway will continue.


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