S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science




Hofmeyr, Professor Christiaan Frederick Beyers (veterinary science, veterinary surgery)

Born: 15 August 1916, Pietersburg, South Africa .
Died: 14 January 2004, Pretoria, South Africa .
Professor Christiaan Frederick Beyers Hofmeyr

C.F.B. Hofmeyr qualified as a veterinarian at the Onderstepoort Faculty of the University of Pretoria in 1938. The next year he joined the civil service and served as state veterinarian in Umtata and Rustenburg until 1942. During this period he discovered the occurrence of bovine besnoitiosis (elephant-skin disease) in South Africa, a finding which was described in "Globidiosis in cattle", published in the Journal of the South African Veterinary Medical Association (Vol. 16, pp. 102-109) in 1945. FRom 1942 to 1957 Hofmeyr was in private practice in Pretoria and during 1952-1957 was contracted as part-time veterinarian by the National Zoological Gardens, Pretoria. He was a pioneer in the study of diseases of Zoo animals, culminating in a paper on "Two hundred and eighty-four autopsies at the National Zoological Gardens" (Journal of the SA Veterinary Medical Association, 1956, Vol. 27, pp. 263-282).

From 1958-1968 Hofmeyr was Professor of Surgery and Head of the Department of Surgery at the Onderstepoort Faculty of Veterinary Science of the University of Pretoria and obtained international recognition for surgical expertise and academic excellence. He was author or co-author of about 100 scientific publications. In 1969 he became Dean of the Veterinary Faculty until his retirement in 1981. During his tenure he was the main motivator for the successful integration of the Faculty into the University of Pretoria and for the introduction of postgraduate specialist M.Med.Vet. degrees and a diploma course in Veterinary Nursing. In recognition of his contributions he was awarded a special honorary professorate and doctorate by the University of Asunción (1980), the Gold Medal of the South African Veterinary Association (1981), a DVSc (honoris causa) by the University of Pretoria (1990), and the Gold Medal of the Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns (1993). He served as President of the South African Biological Society, member of the Council of the Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns, Vice-President of the South African Veterinary Association and member of the Council of the Medical University of South Africa, and was an Honorary member of the International Association of Biuatrics.


List of sources:
Motivation for the award of the Gold Medal of the South African Veterinary Association (in Afrikaans). Journal of the South African Veterinary Association, 1981, Vol. 52, pp. 341-342.

Obituary. VetNews (Newsletter of the South African Veterinary Association), April 2004.


Compiled by: R.D. Bigalke


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