Historical and geographical references show that this role is vulnerable and must be protected to ensure its existence and quality, not only for the benefit of those involved, but above all for society as a whole. As the organisation of such protection involves granting monopolies, special attention must be paid to the conditions governing veterinary training and practice. Protection brings duties and requires control mechanisms, which are generally entrusted to veterinary statutory bodies. The entire mechanism must therefore be covered by specific legislation, which is now embodied in Article 3.4.6. of the Terrestrial Animal Health Code of the World Organisation for Animal Health. However, there is a danger of destroying a system, which has evolved over many years and has proven its worth, by an insistence on free-trade dogma that rejects the relationship between the health and veterinary professions.