History: Why Jim might be the most important horse in medical history

He even spurred on the creation of the US Food and Drug Administration

Forget Phar Lap — the most important equine in history might well be Jim, the retired milk-wagon horse.


Jim is credited with not only saving lives but bringing about the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Horses like Jim were instrumental in the pre-vaccine days of diphtheria.

A nasty disease, diphtheria can slowly suffocate its victims as the bacteria causes a thin film to develop over the throat.

And before treatment, it was fatal in up to half of cases.

Enter the equines. At the end of the 18th century,