Poultry veterinarians and avian health scientists around the world have been saddened by the death of Dr. Trevor Bagust, the president of the World Veterinary Poultry Association (WVPA), who died suddenly February 28, 2014. The funeral service was held in his hometown of Port Fairy, Victoria, Australia, on March 11.
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 Honor, which recognizes 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 Honor in 2013 at WVPA's Nantes Congress in France. Naturally, 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 recognizes exceptional young poultry veterinarians and was first awarded in 2012.
Prior to his time in WVPA, 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.
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. He is particularly remembered for his work in the field of poultry viral diseases, specifically, infectious laryngotracheitis. A vaccine 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, Bagust will always be remembered for his pipe smoking and his banter with British and South African colleagues about cricket and rugby. He will be remembered as a friend, advisor and mentor of poultry colleagues around the world with whom he always had time to share his wisdom and knowledge.
"Trevor was a wonderful person, a great poultry veterinarian and an inspired leader," said fellow WVPA members, "and our thoughts and sympathies go out to his wife, Joanne, daughters and grandchildren."