James M. Christy qualified (MRCVS) at the Royal (Dick) Veterinary College, Edinburgh, in 1889 and worked in the Irish Civil Veterinary Department for ten years. During that time he regularly exhibited horses at the shows of the Dublin Royal Agricultural Society. He came to the Transvaal in 1900, during the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902), as a civil veterinary surgeon attached to the Army Veterinary Department. From July 1901 to April 1903 he served as veterinary officer in the South African Constabulary and on 1 May 1903 joined the Transvaal Civil Veterinary Department as assistant pricipal veterinary surgeon under Stewart Stockman*. He became a member of the Transvaal Veterinary Medical Association at its formation in 1903 and served as its president from 1905 to 1907. After the formation of the Union of South Africa in 1910 he was appointed senior veterinary officer in the Transvaal. In his spare time he occupied himself with horse-breeding, hunting and horse racing. He married Beatrice Annie Headley in August 1914. In 1916 he gave up his post because of ill health and died the next year.
Christy's contributions to veterinary science were mainly in the control of animal diseases. He published many articles in the Transvaal Agricultural Journal, dealing with livestock exhibitions, judging horses, horse breeding, and glanders (1906/7, Vol. 5); the eradication of communicable diseases of animals, and transit of livestock by rail (1907/8, Vol. 6); contagious pleuro-pneumonia of cattle, administration of medicine, and the nursing of sick animals (1908/9, Vol. 7); the control of horses (1909/10, Vol. 8); and, as co-author with Arnold Theiler*, the prevention and eradication of east coast fever (1910, Vol. 9). Three later contributions by him appeared in Volume 1 (1911) of the Agricultural Journal of the Union of South Africa, dealing with means of control of farm stock (p. 22), black quarter or emphysematous anthrax (pp. 533-539), and the feeding of equines (p. 686).