Dr. Pierre Arthur Chaloux, 92, a retired APHIS employee and deputy administrator of veterinary services, has died.
Chaloux was a member of the U.S. Marine Corps from 1944 to 1946. He was deployed in the Pacific theater where he served in Saipan and Okinawa. After the war, he served in Japan as a part of the first occupation troops. After his discharge in 1946, he attended college under the Serviceman’s Readjustment Act of 1944 (the G.I. Bill), first at the University of New Hampshire from 1947 to 1949, and then at the University of Pennsylvania from 1949 to 1954 when he received his Veterinary Medical Doctorate.
Chaloux’s first position with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) was as a student intern testing cattle for tuberculosis in West Virginia for the Bureau of Animal Industry in summer 1953. In March 1954, he began working full time for USDA's Bureau of Animal Industry as a field veterinarian testing cattle in North Dakota. In 1954, the Bureau of Animal Industry became a part of the newly created Agricultural Research Service (ARS). It was in North Dakota that he met his wife, Harriet, whom he married in 1957.
A series of assignments, relocations and promotions carried Chaloux to Washington, D.C., in 1961, where he served as staff veterinarian on the tuberculosis program. He served in this position until 1968, when he was assigned to serve as a member of the diplomatic corps as the European and African Representative for ARS’ Veterinary Services attached to the U.S. Embassy in Rome, Italy. While assigned to Rome, Chaloux traveled extensively throughout Africa, Europe and the Middle East. He met with senior veterinary officials of various countries, observing animal health conditions and practices, and reporting this information stateside where it was used to inform and shape animal health risk assessments and trade policies.
In 1972, Chaloux, his wife and five children returned to the Washington area when he accepted a position as senior staff veterinarian on the import-export staff of the newly formed Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. He became assistant deputy administrator for animal health programs in 1974. In 1977, Chaloux was promoted to deputy administrator of veterinary services, where he served until his retirement in 1981. Post-retirement, in 1983, Chaloux took a three-year assignment with the U.S. Department of State and moved to Bamako, Mali, to assist that country in developing a modern cattle industry.
Chaloux’s accomplishments and awards during his lengthy career are many, but highlights include the detection of a major outbreak of tuberculosis in North Dakota in 1958 and playing a key role in the development of the bovine tuberculosis, screwworm fly, and hog cholera eradication programs. He was made a Knight, Chevalier de L’Ordre du Merite Agricole, by France in 1973 for his collaborative work with that country on the eradication of tuberculosis and swine fever, and received numerous citations for his work throughout his career.
Chaloux is survived by his wife, his five children, 13 grandchildren, and seven great grandchildren.
Visitation will be 4-8 p.m. on Sunday, December 6, and the funeral will be the next day at 11 a.m. Both events will be at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church, 480 152nd Ave., Holland, MI 49424. Flowers should be sent to Dykstra North Funeral Home in Holland.