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One Health champion Michael Day dies

The Australian-born veterinarian served the World Small Animal Veterinary Association since 2003 and now has a scholarship named in his honor.

One Health champion Michael Day dies
Dr. Michael J. Day

Michael J. Day, founder of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association’s One Health Committee and longtime chair of the organization’s Vaccination Guidelines Group, has died.

No date of death or cause was released, but WSAVA reported that Dr. Day, BVMS, Ph.D., DECVP, relinquished his responsibilities in March 2020 because of failing health. He is survived by his wife, veterinarian Mary Marcondes.

“Professor Day was an icon of global veterinary medicine in many fields,” said Michael Lappin, DVM, Ph.D., DACVIM, current chair of the One Health Committee. “His work to found the One Health Committee and the resultant One Health certificate course are just two of the ways in which his memory will live on.”

Dr. Day was director of pathology for the Hong Kong-based company Asia Veterinary Diagnostics at the time of his death.

According to WSAVA, Dr. Day began his volunteer work with the organization in 2003 and joined the executive board in 2017. He helped develop the African Small Companion Animal Network (AFSCAN) project and this year received WSAVA’s Award for Global Meritorious Service.

Born in Australia, Dr. Day was a 1982 graduate of the Murdoch University School of Veterinary and Life Sciences and served as president of the British Small Animal Veterinary Association in 2013-2014. He was emeritus professor of veterinary pathology at the University of Bristol in England, adjunct professor of veterinary pathology at Murdoch and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Comparative Pathology.

His work in establishing the One Health Committee, which strives for greater collaboration between the human and veterinary medicine fields, stands out.

“Michael was a friend to the entire global veterinary community and worked tirelessly and humbly to make the world better by championing a One Health approach,” said Jolle Kirpensteijn, DVM, Ph.D., DACVS, a WSAVA past president and chief professional veterinary officer at Hill’s Pet Nutrition.

In honor of Dr. Day, the North American Veterinary Community, publisher of Today’s Veterinary Business, renamed the Colin F. Burrows International AFSCAN Scholarship. It is now the Michael J. Day AFSCAN Scholarship.

“Emeritus Professor Day embodied the tenets of the NAVC’s Colin F. Burrows International Scholarship program every day with his tireless work ethic, constant curiosity and intelligence, concern for the veterinary community and passion to spread education globally,” said NAVC CEO Gene O’Neill, CIA. “We are proud to honor his monumental career and carry on his legacy of service and knowledge through future AFSCAN Scholarship recipients.”

Information about the annual scholarship, which includes a trip to VMX in Orlando, Florida, is available at bit.ly/DayScholarship.


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