Better know a Canadian functionary: the Chief Veterinary Officer and the Chief Meat Inspector

From the beginning, one of the cornerstones of Canadian commerce has been agriculture. With that in mind, it’s apparent why our government took an early interest in maintaining the health of livestock across the country. The office of the Chief Veterinary Inspector was established in 1885 (renamed the Veterinary Director-General in 1904) to enforce a new act of Parliament concerning infectious diseases of livestock. Its inaugural officeholder was Dr. Duncan MacEachran, dean of veterinary science at McGill University and one of the foremost experts in North America on diseases of the horse (remember, this was before cars).

The office of Veterinary Director-General was abolished in 1975 after a reorganization of the Department of Agriculture. It was reborn as the post of the Chief Veterinary Officer in 1997 as one of the vice-presidencies of the new Canada Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

The CVI/VDG/CVOs of Canada have been:

Duncan McNab McEachran 1885-1902
J.G. Rutherford 1902-12
Frederick Torrance 1912-23
George Hilton 1924-39
A.E. Cameron 1939-43
Mark Baker 1943-46
Thomas Childs 1947-55
Kenneth Frank Wells 1955-75

(Defunct 1975-97)

Brian Evans 1997-2012
Ian Alexander 2012-14
Harpreet S. Kochhar 2014-now

The Veterinary Director-General controlled the Health of Animals Branch, a sizable office in the Experimental Farms division of the Department of Agriculture. One of his most important subordinates was the Chief Meat Inspector, alias the Chief of the Meat and Canned Foods Division, a post established pursuant to the Meat and Canned Foods Act of 1907. It too was disbanded in the departmental shuffle of 1975; its functions are now carried out by officers of the CFIA.

The Chief Meat Inspectors of Canada were:

S.H. Ward 1907-08
Robert Barnes 1908-38
C.D. Maconachie 1938-45
Fred Parmiteer 1945-49
G.A. Rose 1949-59
Carman K. Hetherington 1959-75


One comment

  1. Pingback: Better know a Canadian functionary: officers of the Central Experimental Farm | Jeremy Turcotte, Trained Journalist

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