It is with great sadness I learned belatedly yesterday of the death from cancer of Dr David Bayvel, the veterinarian and former director of animal welfare for the New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture and later the Ministry for Primary Industries on 7 April.
His obituary in the Dominion Post (25 April) outlined the enormous contribution the 70-year-old Edinburgh-born and educated Scottish Kiwi had made to his profession, animal welfare and primary production, both nationally and internationally.
Friends and colleagues around the world will remember him as a highly intelligent, sociable and compassionate man, with a great sense of humour and a healthy dose of quiet and calm strategic determination. Having seen him in action in his early days in the job around tables with disparate animal welfare groups in London through to leading the OIE’s animal welfare groups, he never failed to impress. He never stepped back from any issues but made sure all decisions made were science-based. Doing so brought an understanding of animal production to a point where animal welfare groups and industry could work together to further welfare initiatives. He achieved what many felt was well nigh impossible when he set out in 1989 – he brought animal welfare into the mainstream.
David earned the enormous respect of many and was rewarded for his work and dedication with, amongst others, the OIE Meritorious Service Award in 2012, a Queen’s Service Order in 2012 for his services to the state and the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists’ College Prize in 2013. He was a mentor to many. He will be very sadly missed by all who knew him, but his legacy here in the form of New Zealand’s animal welfare legislation, Codes of Practice, and many other initiatives internationally, lives on.
Our sincere condolences go to the family he left behind in Waikanae on the Kapiti Coast, wife Lieschen, two children and two grandchildren.
Rest in Peace, David. It was an honour knowing you.