After working in a successful small animal practice, he joined the pharmaceutical industry. He became an author of books for pet owners and the profession, and set up the Pet Health Counsellor programme.
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James Michael Evans, BVetMed, MRCVS, (b) 1931, (q) Royal Veterinary College 1953. Died 23 January 2020.
Jim was born on 15 August 1931, together with his twin sister Doff, in Wembley, Middlesex. Their parents were teachers.
He had a mischievous side, which manifested itself from a young age. He was expelled from the convent school that he and Doff attended for dipping girls’ pigtails into the inkwells and writing on their backs. Mischievousness was a trademark of his personality throughout his life.
He left school with high grades and began studying at the Royal Veterinary College in London. During his studies he obtained one of the highest marks ever awarded in anatomy, as well as medals for hygiene, pathology and surgery, and the Cecil Aldin memorial prize.
On graduation in 1953, he served in the Royal Army Veterinary Corps as part of his National Service, where he worked with the Army Dog Training School in Germany, attaining the rank of Captain. He also met his wife Monica, who was teaching on the base where he was stationed. Jim became an accomplished horseman and often recalled how his wife-to-be refused to ride on the back of his horse; he could never quite understand why.
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They married and moved to the Isle of Wight where he began to practise and where their first son, Paul, was born.
Two years later they moved to Hertfordshire, where he became a partner in a practice covering the towns of Welwyn, Stevenage and Letchworth. It was here that their second son, David, was born.
Lured by the challenges of the pharmaceutical industry he joined Glaxo Laboratories. He had immense energy and rose quickly to become head of the veterinary advisory department. He served on numerous committees, including the British Small Animal Veterinary Association’s (BSAVA’s) advisory committee, latterly as chairman; the BVA’s technical development committee; and the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry’s regulatory and technical committee. He was elected as president of the BSAVA in 1976.
In 1978 he became a freelance adviser and moved to Diss in Norfolk. He became a prolific writer, publishing various books in conjunction with dog breeder and author Kay White, including ‘The Book of the Bitch’, ‘Doglopaedia. A Complete Guide to Dog Care’ and a similar ‘Catlopaedia’ for cat owners. He also wrote ‘What If My Dog...’ which offered ‘expert answers to doggy problems’. One of his most valuable contributions was ‘Henstons Veterinary Vade Mecum: Small Animals’, which was later followed by one for large animal practitioners.
In the mid-1980s he moved to Derbyshire, where he became an acknowledged expert on oestrous control in dogs, a topic that took him all over the world lecturing and advising on the subject.
His swansong was the Pet Health Counsellor programme, which he created on behalf of Pedigree Petfoods.
A man of enormous energy, who had a rare ability of being able to apply technical expertise in a practical and commercial context
During his time in industry, he was described as ‘a man of enormous energy, who had a rare ability of being able to apply technical expertise in a practical and commercial context’.
Having retired in 1994, he directed his energies towards his family, golf, the Derwent Valley Wind Band, walking in the Peak District and taking exotic holidays.
Jim died on 23 January following a short illness. He leaves two sons, five grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
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