Poultry veterinarians and avian health scientists around the world have been saddened by the death of the president of the World Veterinary Poultry Association the Australian, Dr Trevor Bagust, who died suddenly on the 28th February 2014.
His funeral service was held in his hometown of Port Fairy on 11th March.
Dr Bagust had assumed the presidency at WVPA’s Cancun Conference in 2011 and had been at the helm of WVPA at an evolutionary time when, among other things, the Asian membership was expanded and the first WVPA Asian Conference had been held. He was also the driving force behind the creation of the WVPA Hall of Honour, which recognises the contribution of great veterinarians and scientists in the avian health field. The first group of these eminent individuals was inducted into the Hall of Honour in 2013 at WVPA’s Nantes Congress in France. Naturally, Dr Trevor Bagust was in this first intake. Another milestone in WVPA’s history during Bagust’s presidency was the establishment of the annual Young Poultry Veterinarian Award, which recognises exceptional young poultry veterinarians and was first awarded in 2012.
Prior to his time in WVPA, Dr Bagust had been actively involved in the Australasian Veterinary Poultry Association and was instrumental in taking the WVPA’s Global Congress to his home city of Melbourne in 1993.
Dr Bagust’s poultry career started in the field in Australia where he developed Australian SPF stock and then took this technology into China and other parts of the third world. During his time in China he developed friendships that have lasted to this day. His contribution to the understanding of chicken diseases was second to none and he is particularly remembered in this context in the field of poultry viral diseases and, in particular, infectious laryngotracheitis. A vaccine that he developed and patented many years ago is still used today.
In the latter years of his professional career, he joined the staff of the University of Melbourne in Australia where he became the ‘founding father’ of Avian Health Online. This has become the leading online postgraduate avian health educational resource and still operates globally today.
Within WVPA, Dr Bagust will always be remembered for his pipe smoking and his banter with British and South African colleagues about cricket and rugby.