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Death of Internationally Respected Veterinarian

by 5m Editor
6 October 2008, at 11:55pm

UK - Sadly, we have to report that internationally renowned swine veterinarian, Tom Alexander died last week, aged 77.

Dr Tom AlexanderDr Tom Alexander
Thomas J L A Alexander., PhD, MVSc, BSc, MRCVS, DPM, who sadly died last week.

Before he retired, Thomas J L A Alexander., PhD, MVSc, BSc, MRCVS, DPM was deputy head of the veterinary school at Cambridge University, where he taught pig husbandry, pig medicine and infectious diseases.

Dr Alexander qualified from the Royal Veterinary College in 1954.

In his early years as a veterinarian, he was an assistant in the racehorse practice at Lambourn, being reasonably experienced with horses. A year later he moved to a mixed practice in Cornwall.

He turned his attention to pig medicine when he took his MVSc and was one of the first veterinarians worldwide to take a post graduate degree in pig medicine, at Guelph, Canada in 1960, followed up with a PhD in enteric viruses on the pig in 1965.

He was the international consultant veterinarian to the Pig Improvement Company, where he instituted the foundations of PIC's health programme and was a partner in a 200 sow pig farm in the 1970's and on the board of directors of a large mixed farming business, which included 5,000 sows for several years.

Dr. Jerome Geiger at PIC said Dr. Alexander was "a cornerstone of PIC's health programme since the earliest days. He is a cherished member of the PIC family. To the global pig industry, Tom was a visionary, a teacher, and an accessible authority on a broad range of health topics. Our industry and understanding are much different thanks to Tom. He has inspired many."

Dr Alexander was the leading exponent of Medicated Early Weaning, a technique for cleaning up pig populations and was known internationally for his research on vomiting and wasting diseases, swine dysentery and streptococcal meningitis. He was the co-editor of "Managing Pig Health and the Treatment of Disease" with the late Mike Muirhead and a consultant on ThePigSite.com.

He was a founding member of the British Pig Veterinarian Society and its president for two years and was convenor of the organising committee of the first International Pig Veterinary Society Congress in 1969. He was a prime influence on the development of a National Diploma in Pig Medicine for the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and chaired its pig medicine board.

He was regularly invited to present papers and conduct consultancy work in most pig rearing countries of the world.

In 1999 he received the Darymple Champney's cup from the British Veterinary association for his outstanding contributions to education.

He maintained a love for horse racing as well as rugby throughout his life, following his early veterinary years in the racehorse and mixed practices and was part of the Twos Up Partnership that owned Boscall Hill.

Tom will be sadly missed by many, and our thoughts are with his family at this time.

Following a private funeral there will be a Memorial Service on Tuesday 14th October at 2.30pm at the Wolfson College, Barton Road, Cambridge, CB3 9BB. Donations, if desired, can be made to the Injured Jockeys Fund or Help The Aged.

ThePigSite Team

5m Editor