Iowa State University mourns the loss of two pig veterinarians

16-04-2014 | |
Iowa State University mourns the loss of two pig veterinarians

Iowa State University lost two great resources with the recent passing of Dr H. Scott Hurd and Dr James McKean, within just a few weeks of each other.

Dr H. Scott Hurd, 58, passed away on Thursday, March 27, after having fought a battle with brain cancer. Dr McKean passed away unexpectedly last Thursday, on April 10.

Dr H. Scott Hurd

Hurd served as associate professor at Iowa State University’s (ISU) Department of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine and director of the Food Risk Modeling and Policy Lab at ISU.

Previously, he worked 12 years for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), including serving as deputy under secretary for food safety in 2008, and the National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS).

The Ames Tribune stated that Hurd was ‘an advocate for animal health and food safety as he used his veterinary degree and doctorate education to research and communicate farm-to-fork issues with the public sector’. He was an advocate of the usage of antibiotics, correcting what he considered to be ‘misinformation circulating in public regarding the food animal industry’.

Hurd wrote prolifically on these issues in recent years and he wrote a blog called ‘Hurd Health’.

Dr McKean

Dr James McKean worked at Iowa State University as swine extension veterinarian. He was a long-time member of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV) and was AASV president in 1990.

McKean was Iowa State University swine extension veterinarian for over three decades. In this role, he was highly active in swine health and production topics with a particular focus on food safety issues. In Pig Progress’ Alternative Growth Promotion special edition (2012), he contributed a highly interesting contribution on prudent use of antibiotics.

He also was associate director for the Iowa Pork Industry Center at Iowa State since the centre began is 1994, and served a short time as interim director.

The ISU website states that McKean maintained a research focus in production site-abattoir interactions for food safety organisms, particularly Salmonella, Trichinella and Toxoplasma. Over the past decade, this work has demonstrated the impact of abattoir antemortem pens in Salmonella control for pork production, assisted in the development of a production site-based national certification programme for Trichinella, and generated information to better understand the prevalence and production risk factors in Toxoplasma infections of swine.

Dr McKean has been active in the development of the National Pork Board Pork Quality Assurance programme (PQA) since its inception in 1989.

Editor of Pig Progress / Topic: Pigs around the world