N.B.: The detail displayed about each honorary degree recipient varies, as
the database was compiled from a variety of sources. However, more information may
be available at the University Archives.
Convocation date: May 13, 1971
Discipline / contribution: veterinary medicine ; livestock industry
Citation / biographical information:
Dr. Wells was born at Swan River, Manitoba and graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 1938 with Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Veterinary Surgery degrees.Degree received: Doctor of Laws
After practicing general veterinary medicine at Weston, Ontario, he was appointed to the Faculty at Macdonald College, University of McGill, Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Quebec.
He later abandoned the purely academic life and chose a career with the Health of Animals Division of the Canada Department of Agriculture.
Dr. Wells was named associate chief veterinarian in 1949 having responsibility for contagious diseases control. He spent four months in Mexico as a consultant with the joint Mexican and U.S. veterinary forces on control of disease in Mexican cattle.
When foot and mouth disease struck the livestock population of Saskatchewan in 1952, Dr. Wells was entrusted with the task of directing the program of eradication. Under his direction the campaign was so successful that Canadian meats and livestock were restored to world markets within 12 months. Truly an outstanding achievement.
He was promoted to Chief Veterinary Officer in 1952 and named Veterinary Director General in 1955.
Dr. Wells has always been a strong believer in coâ€”operation of all veterinary agencies and was instrumental in developing the original federal-provincial calfhood vaccinations program and the federalâ€”provincial meat inspection system.
During his period of office, the general testing for eradication of bovine tuberculosis and for brucellosis was completed in 1961 and 1966 respectively. The resulting control of these two diseases has been invaluable to the Canadian Livestock Industry and has prevented much suffering in human beings who are susceptible to both infections. Two recent activities should be mentioned, both of which are proving their benefits to residents of western Canada.
Dr. Wells was an active force in the establishment of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, representing the Federal Government throughout the negotiations which resulted in the significant federal contribution to the capital costs.
The Canadian Maximum Security Quarantine System which has made it possible to import desirable strains of cattle from certain countries was the first of its kind in the world. In setting the system it was necessary for Dr. Wells to negotiate both with the United States to ensure that the Canadian border would not be closed and with European countries to arrange for the testing and certification of European cattle by Canadian veterinarians working in Europe.
The new blood lines have started a North American revolution in beef production and may well put Canada in a leading position as a supplier of world breeding stock.
Dr. Wells is presently a Member of the Advisory Council of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, corresponding Member of the French Academy of Veterinary Medicine, Canadian delegate to the Permanent Committee of the World Veterinary Association and to the International Office of Epizootics, and Chairman of the Canadian Interdepartmental Codex Alimentarius Committee.
He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary
Surgeons and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Health.
Truly Dr. Wells has established an impressive record of accomplishments at home and abroad.
Degree presented by: D.L.T. Smith, Dean of Veterinary Medicine
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