Stratford Veterinarian Lauded for Protecting Animals and Consumers by Providing Leadership and Guidance to International Pork Industry

    MILTON, ON, Jan. 30 /CNW/ - Dr. George Charbonneau, a veterinarian from
Stratford, Ontario will this week receive a prestigious award for his
outstanding contributions to the swine and pork industry in Ontario, Canada
and on the International scene. The Ontario Veterinary Medical Association
(OVMA) will also honour Ms. Chris Robinson for her contributions to animal
welfare, and Dr. Tom Sanderson for his life-long achievements in large animal
veterinary medicine.

    Dr. George Charbonneau, Stratford, ON - 2008 OVMA Outstanding
    Veterinarian Award
    "Swine Expert, Researcher and Protector of Food Safety and Consumers"

    Dr. George Charbonneau's name is synonymous with swine medicine. Whether
you're a veterinarian or a swine industry member, if you're talking about
anything that has anything to do with the swine industry, his name is bound to
be mentioned. If not, it's not uncommon to walk away from a conversation and
think, 'I wonder what Dr. Charbonneau would have to say about that.'
    A 1981 OVC graduate from Arnprior, Ontario, Dr. Charbonneau's career
began to take shape in high school when he sought experience with cattle,
swine and bee keeping.
    From the minute his graduation cap hit the floor, Dr. Charbonneau hit the
veterinary profession hard, influencing every aspect of the swine industry
that he could get his hands on. Starting his own practice the year he
graduated, Dr. Charbonneau spent much of his early years harnessing strong
relationships with pork producers, taking the lead in production and farm
management in farrow-to-finish operations. Producers quickly embraced Dr.
Charbonneau's expertise and soon had him managing facility renovations and
supervising innovative research projects.
    In 1987, Dr. Charbonneau moved his veterinary practice to Stratford
Ontario. The following year, Dr. Charbonneau and his wife Ann Coyle started
Swine Services Group Limited to provide consultation and management services
to the Ontario swine industry.
    Besides his robust commitment to providing quality service to both
industry service providers and pork producers, Dr. Charbonneau devoted much of
his career to helping manage disease by advancing technology and research for
swine medicine.
    Among his published scientific papers are, "Efficacy of tilmicosin in the
control of experimentally induced Actinobacillus pleuropneumonia infection in
swine" and a "Survey of the slaughter prevalence of sarcoptic pigs in
    Always appreciating opportunities to share his knowledge, Dr. Charbonneau
has spoken before groups across North America, including the American
Association of Swine Veterinarians, Maritime Pork Congress, Ontario Pork
Congress, Iowa Pork Congress, Ontario Association of Swine Veterinarians,
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food Swine Excellence Series, Saskatchewan
Pork Industry Symposium, and the George Young Conference. And recently, he
served as the Canadian ambassador at a series of meetings in the United States
where he presented information on the status of Porcine Circovirus and Porcine
Reproductive and Respiratory syndrome virus in Canada.
    When Dr. Charbonneau isn't on a stage somewhere, you always know what
he's working on through his various columns and reports in the veterinary and
public media. He's written for the Ontario Pork Industry Council, the Ontario
Hog Farmer, the Animal Health Laboratory, OMAFRA, the American Association of
Swine Veterinarians, and PigChat.
    Dr. Charbonneau's industry participation is also second to none. He has
served twice as President of the Ontario Association of Swine Veterinarians
and the Ontario Pork Congress. He helped to start and served as the initial
chairperson of the Ontario Pork Industry Council. He also helped to start and
served on the Executive of the newly formed Canadian Association of Swine
    Dr. Charbonneau has served on countless advisory panels, he has held
membership in virtually every veterinary association or group that has
anything to do with the swine industry.
    "Dr. George Charbonneau represents everything that is good and noble in
this great profession of ours," says Dr. Reg Reed OVMA President. "He serves
the animals in his district by keeping up with and promoting the advances in
veterinary medicine. He serves his peers by providing leadership in local,
national and international issues. And he serves Canadian consumers by caring
so much about quality and safety in the food animal industry."

    The Ontario Veterinary Medical Association will also honour two other
individuals who have made significant contributions to people and animals
(full details about these two award recipients available at or
contact OVMA Manager of Communications & Public Relations, Nadia Vercillo):

    Ms. Chris Robinson, Kitchener, ON - 2008 OVMA Award of Merit

    A Canadian animal rescue superhero who volunteered her time to visit New
Orleans after Hurricane Katrina to save and re-house stranded animals. Ms.
Robinson also founded the Ontario chapter of the Canadian Animal Assistance
Team (a group which travels across Canada and around the world to
assist/rescue animals in distressed areas).

    Dr. Tom Sanderson, Maxwell, ON - 2008 OVMA Golden Life Membership Award

    A veterinary practitioner, a teacher and a mentor, this Ontario
veterinarian dedicated his career to furthering food animal veterinary
medicine. Now retired, this 1991 OVMA Veterinarian of the Year continues to
influence and provide leadership to large animal veterinarians across the

    Founded in 1980, the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association represents
more than 3,300 Ontario veterinarians in private practice, government,
academia, industry and public service. Its mandate is to advance and promote
excellence in the veterinary profession in Ontario, and contribute to the
betterment of animal health and the protection of human health.

    OVMA Awards Ceremonies

    OVMA will honour these three individuals at three separate awards
ceremonies during the 2008 OVMA Conference & Trade Show in Toronto. Media must
register on-site at the OVMA Registration Desk.

    Location - Westin Harbour Castle Hotel
    Photos - Digital photos may be available after the presentations.

    OVMA Golden Life Membership Presentation, Dr. Tom Sanderson - Thursday,
January 31, 8 a.m.

    OVMA Outstanding Veterinarian Presentation, Dr. George Charbonneau -
Friday, February 1, 8 a.m.

    OVMA Award of Merit Presentation, Ms. Chris Robinson - Saturday,
February 2, 8 a.m.

For further information:

For further information: Nadia Vercillo, OVMA Manager of Communications
& Public Relations, c. (416) 838-3925 or 1-800-670-1702, ext. 15 or

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