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Special> China's Tibet: Facts & Figures> Beijing Review Archives> 1972
UPDATED: May 8, 2008 NO. 29, 1972
Veterinaries in Tibet

On the average more than 5,000 metres above sea level, Kaitse County is half-way up Kangtiszu Mountain in northern Tibet. The county has about half a million head of livestock on its 70,000-sq.-km.plateau. Dwellings are scattered and communications are poor.

In the old days of feudal serfdom there wasn't even one veterinary worker here. After the 1959 democratic reform, the state sent veterinary personnel to Kaitse from the interior, along with large quantities of veterinary medicines and medical equipment. Knowledge on preventing and curing livestock diseases was spread over a wide area.

Guided by Chairman Mao's proletarian revolutionary line, people's communes were formed throughout Kaitse County in 1970, each of which had a veterinary station. A "three-in-one" veterinary group made up of herdsmen, veterinaries who regularly take part in productive labour and grass-roots cadres was set up in every production team.

In the last two years, the county has run five training classes in which young Tibetan herdsmen who were good in political thinking and had a certain amount of education were enrolled. Such students have received education in socialism and at the same time learnt how to prevent and treat common animal diseases. Each production team now has three veterinaries who take part in herding livestock and give medical treatment at the same time.

After the democratic reform the Party organization sent Yisichientseng, a Communist Youth League member from a Tibetan serf family, to a veterinary school in the interior. Since returning to the county, he has been doing veterinary work in the pastoral areas. He also has trained a number of veterinaries there. Many Han veterinaries have done the same as this young Tibetan.

Herdsman-veterinaries have spread veterinary knowledge among the emancipated serfs. More than 90 per cent of the county's herdsmen have mastered simple methods of treating common lamb diseases.

Helped by professional veterinary workers, the herdsman-veterinaries and masses of herdsmen in Kaitse County prevent and cure livestock diseases with herbs they collect. Using local methods, they make simple medical equipment and build dispensaries. Many have learnt how to artificially inseminate sheep and have crossbred fine-wool Sinkiang sheep with local breeds, the first generation of which now numbers 3,000.

(This article appears on page 20, No. 29, 1972)

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